Shameless BJP grabs land to erase the valiant struggle of the Tribal Women of Tripura

BJP which used massive influx of money to get to power in the state of Tripura has stooped to a new low by grabbing land and laying the foundation stone of a Ram Mandir on a land that housed the memorial for a tribal martyr.

Tribal people in Tripura traditionally practice ‘jhum’ or shifting cultivation for their food and sustenance. The then Congress-led state government prohibited jhum cultivation in forest lands in 1968, following which a group of tribal women led by Mohini Tripura put up resistance against government actions. Mohini Tripura was gunned down on March 17, 1968 during the protests.

After the first Left Front government led by former chief minister late Nripen Chakraborty came to power in 1978, a village, a school and a community centre were dedicated to the memory of late Mohini Tripura.

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A memorial was also built at Matai village in Belonia sub-division of Tripura’s south district. This memorial was replaced by foundation stone for Ram Mandir after the landowner was coerced by the BJP to give away his land and claim that it was ‘the CPI (M) that had earlier grabbed this piece of land’.

This episode should not be seen in isolation of the attacks by the RSS-BJP and its affiliates such as the Sanathan Sanstha on the democratic rights in the state. Ever since it assumed office in the state, the Party, the Left Front and their mass organisations have been at the receiving end of the violence perpetrated by the BJP/RSS. Since the assembly elections four comrades have been killed; nearly 100 offices of the Party and mass organisations have been demolished apart from eviction/forcible occupation of a number of them. In the face of these unabated attacks nearly 500 comrades have had to shift from their homes and are temporarily accommodated in camps at Party offices. Apart from physically targetting Left cadres, even programmes and events conducted by the Party and the Left have come under attack. Even May Day celebrations were sought to be disrupted in various parts of the state. The Party run daily Desher Katha has become a target with transporters carrying the paper as well as subscribers being threatened. Pradhans, Chairmen and elected members of various local bodies including the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) are being coerced either to resign or join the BJP. The complicity of the state administration is revealed by the fact that Party leaders are being attacked even inside the police station where they go to lodge complaints. Hindutva forces are trying to use the subverted mandate that they managed in the assembly elections to organizationally and physically decimate the communists. This however is not going to happen.

RSS-BJP should understand that communists have built their place in the hearts of the masses of Tripura through many a valiant battles and sacrifices over the last eight decades. No amount of politicking and use of state machinery can erase the memory of the left democratic movement in the state.

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