TNT News | Agartala, February 1, 2019
Sumit Debbarma, one of the 6 seriously injured protestors in Tripura who sustained a bullet injury in the chest during the January 8 Madhab Bari incident is recovering in a hospital in Kolkata after his opposition to the Citizenship amendment Bill 2016 nearly took his life.
Sumit, a third year student of T.T.A.A.D.C Polytechnic Institute recounds the tragic day in an interview with TNT- The Northeast Today.
According to Sumit, on January 8, he was at his home at Madhab Bari as his college was closed due to the strike.
"The situation in our locality was tense wand I did not go out as I had nothing to do with any political party but suddenly I could hear noises and commotion coming from the nearby main road, so I went out of curiosity to see what was happening. To my horror, I saw TSR personnel firing indiscriminatingly at the people. I was scared and immediately wanted to flee from the place and ran towards the direction of my home but while coming back I sustained a bullet injury."
Sumit also clearly denied the allegations of the police administration wherein thay were seen to justify their act for firing at the protesters when they said that protestors were pelting stones at the police which compelled them to open fire at the protestors.
"When I went to the place, I clearly saw that the protesters were nowhere close to the TSR jawans and there was no stone pelting from the protesters side", Sumit asserted.
Sumit also claimed that he saw few people burning shops that belonged to the Indigenous people at the Madhab Bari main road. The act was being performed in front of the TSR personnels but none of them were stopped or arrested by the police but instead they opened fired at us.
It may be mentioned that TNT- The Northeast Today possesses video evidence of the claims made by Sumit Debbarma when we interviewed him.
Sumit's father Subodh Debbarma who is a technician at the Agriculture department of Tripura and the only earning member of a family of five recollects the horrific incident of January 8th and says that he is atleast satisfied that he could save his son.
"I was in my office when I got a call that my son was shot at the protest. I tried to call Sumit but no one was receiving after which I panicked and rushed to the local hospital of TTADC but the doctors there said they were being referred to G.B. Pant Hospital at Agartala. So, I rushed towards Agartala but on my way I came to know that TSR jawans stopped the ambulance which was carrying Sumit and other boys who suffered bullet injuries forcing the ambulance to return back to TTADC hospital. Then again I went back to TTADC hospital and found my son. Later we took him to G.B. Pant hospital and from there we were told to go to Kolkata for his treatment as his condition was critical".
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had earlier announced that all the injured would be given financial help of one lakh rupees and all the cost of their treatment would also be borne by the state government.
But Sumit's father claims that he only received air ticket when he was asked to take his son to Kolkata for better treatment. He also added that later when he was in Kolkata, the government had given a cheque of one lakh rupees to Sumit's mother.
"The government gave a cheque of one lakh to my wife when I was in Kolkata but I had to spend Rs. 96,000 for the treatment of my son whose bills are with me. I don't know that if we now show these bills whether we will get the refund or not from the government's end as we were promised by the Chief Minister himself that all medical expenses will be taken care by the state government apart from the one lakh rupees monetary help", added Subodh Debbarma.
Subodh also expressed his gratefulness to Tripura Royal Scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma who had come forward to assist those affected in every way possible.
Subodh said, "In times of crisis, the Maharaja stood beside us. He wholeheartedly supported us, both financially and morally and it is due to him that our plea was heard by the media and the state government".
Expressing grief over the excessive use of force by the security personnel on the fateful day, Subodh said, "This is not something new to us. This has been happening to us since 1980's. My house was also burnt during the riots of 2001 by the TSR jawans. The indigeneous common people have to bear the brunt of every kind of divide and communal tension created by political parties".
Sumit's mother who is still in shock terms this incident to be the most horrifying chapter of her life where she could only pray to God to save her son's life.
, she said, "I cannot express in words about that phase. I am now happy that my son is with me ad is recovering". TNT- The Northeast Today
She also expressed her worry about the lawlessness in the state which seems to have drastically increased in the past few months.