AGARTALA, March 19: In a direct confrontation with the Border Security Forces (BSF) over killing of three tribals including a woman at Harbatali area in Sabroom sub-division yesterday, Tripura’s left front government ordered an investigation to find out reality behind the incident.
A statement from the Home Department said that the government condemned the incident and expressed grief over death of three persons at Chittamura in Sabroom.
Investigation of the case is in progress and BSF authorities should extend full cooperation for early completion of the probe, the government statement said. It further called for strict and exemplary legal action against the concerned BSF personnel of Bhangamura Border Out Post, who were involved in the incident.
The Home Department earlier issued specific directions to the district administration to extend all possible help to bereaved families including medical help and assistance to the injured persons.
Meanwhile, the issue has made it to the Ministry of Home Affairs. In a tweet from his official handle earlier today, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh regretted the death of three serious injury of two during BSF firing at Sabroom.
Singh has also sought a detailed report from the Director General of BSF K.K. Sharma on the incident.
Protesting against the incident, CPI (M) observed 12-hours strike since this morning at Sabroom. The party along with its women brigade – the All India democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) organized several protest and demonstration rallies across the state on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a statement from BSF sector headquarters at Shalbagan claimed that jawans of 31st battalion guarding the Bhangamura border outpost in Sabroom were forced to fire upon a crowd who launched attack on the border guards while the latter intercepted a livestock smuggling bid.
Sources said that Suralaxmi Tripura (31) a mother of one child, had been returning home in the afternoon after working in a rubber garden. She was caught sight of alone by three patrolling BSF jawans who attempted to molest and rape her. But Suralaxmi’s cries for help reached the ears of villagers who rushed to the spot to rescue her.
But, BSF jawans opened fire, killing three people including Suralaxmi Tripura, Minkumar Tripura (38) and Padma Kumar Tripura (37). Two other villagers were injured and identified as Shyam Chandra Tripura and Jiban Tripura.
The CPI (M) statement described the incident as an ‘instance of unlimited and unprecedented barbarity by a paramilitary force’ to cover up their crime. The CPI (M) state secretariat has called upon the state government to conduct investigation into the matter as well as to pay compensation to the families of victims.
Royal scion of Tripura and Pradesh Congress leader Pradyot Bikram Kishore Manikya condoled the death of three people in the BSF firing yesterday. He expressed sympathies to the bereaved family members and those who sustained serious injuries. The royal descendant who is also the current head of Tripura’s royal family, called for an impartial high level probe on the issue.
INPT later condemned the killing of three and grievous injuries sustained by two others and demanded appropriate compensation for bereaved family members and injured persons. The party also called for a high level enquiry into the issue to find out the real culprits.
Local sources said that Min Kumar Tripura was busy in his rubber plantation with 6 others since this morning. His plantation, barely 750 meters away from the Indo-Bangla international border, often saw BSF jawans passing by.
Suralaxmi Tripura, a young wife and mother of an infant, reportedly excused herself from work earlier than usual at 3:15 PM. On her way back, the lady was allegedly attacked and molested by a group of BSF jawans.
Hearing her cries, her colleagues from the plantation rushed to rescue and attacked the border guards.
Facing resistance, the BSF men opened fire that killed three and injured two, the villagers later said in a FIR filed with the local police station.
In their counter-narrative, BSF has stated that a group of villagers were found trying to smuggle nearly 40 cows across the border to Bangladesh. On being challenged, the villagers deployed women armed with domestic weapons.
The attackers were tried to be dispersed with blank fires, the BSF said adding that when all measures failed, they resorted to fire upon the villagers in self defence.
Featured image(courtesy): DNA India