The CPI(M) and its front organisations have condemned and protested against bulldozing houses in a Muslim locality in south Tripura. The government claims they have cleared illegal encroachments. The CPI(M) has demanded rehabilitation of the evicted families and action against the officials involved in the demolition of the homes.
The demolitions which were secured by large numbers of armed security personnel employed bulldozers and chainsaws and happened at Raiyabari under the Killa Administrative Block in the Gomati district on Thursday. It is located 47 km south of Agartala.
Authorities of the Gomati district cited a court order for the eviction of seven families from the ‘forest land’. But the victims and parties like CPI(M) claim the court ordered proper resettlement of the poor families elsewhere before eviction.
Incidentally, the incumbent BJP government had sanctioned homes to Mir Hussain, Amir Hussain, Sahajan Mia and Rakesh Mia under a central flagship programme. These houses were also razed.
Video footage showed enthusiastic security personnel cutting down large trees at Raiyabari. Officials did not stop them though cutting a tree on forest land is a punishable offence.
Raiyabari shot into the headlines in the late 1990s when a group of NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) extremists led by self-styled commander Haflong Jamatia raided the village and allegedly raped several women. Jamatia was later killed in an encounter with paramilitary forces during a counter-insurgency operation.
CPI(M) and its front groups like the Krishak Sabha condemned the action. CPI(M) leader and Krishak Sabha state secretary Pabitra Kar on Friday termed the actions as ‘brutal’, ‘inhuman’ and ‘uncivilised’.
He said the left parties will stage a protest against the ‘barbaric action’ .
The CPI(M) state committee in a statement demanded sanction of “compensation and rehabilitation of the hapless families”. It condemned ‘high-handed treatment of women residents and children’ during the drive.