Citizenship Bill stir: Seven injured in clashes in Tripura

Citizenship Bill stir: Seven injured in clashes in Tripura
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Agartala: At least seven persons were injured, some with gunshot wounds, on Tuesday in West Tripura district, about 15 km from here, when police and paramilitary jawans resorted to lathicharge and opened fire in the air to disperse Citizenship Bill protesters.

Those injured included a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) personnel and six Twipra Student Federation (TSF) members who blocked the Assam-Agartala National Highway at Madhabbari in Jirania police station area of the district to oppose the Bill, a senior police officer said.

NESO, a joint platform of eight student organisations, including the TSF, called for 11-hour Northeast bandh to protest against the move of the central government to introduce Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament.

The bill that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangaldesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

After several failed attempts to convince the protesters to withdraw the blockade on the National Highway, police resorted to lathicharge, burst tear gas cells and opened fire in the air, AIG (Law and Order) Subrata Chakraborty said.

“Although the exact number of injured is yet to be ascertained, most of them were initially admitted at Khumulwung hospital in Jirania and later shifted to G B Pant hospital and Agartala Medical College here,” he said.

When contacted, Jirania SDPO Pran Krishna Das said the bandh supporters set fire to around ten shops in the area.

The situation is tense but under control with Assam Rifles personnel posted in the region, he said.

TSF General Secretary Sunil Debbarma, on his part, said the six bandh supporters suffered bullet injuries without any provocation.

“When six of our activists received bullet injuries, they were admitted to nearby Khumulwung hospital. As their condition started deteriorating, they were referred to GB Pant hospital,” he said.

Debbarma also said that the TSR personnel attacked the ambulance which was ferrying the injured activists from one hospital to another.

“The ambulance was attacked and damaged by TSR personnel. It was only after the district superintendent of police intervened, the injured were allowed to head for the GB Pant Hospital”, he told reporters.