Tripura: Hawkers from UP and Bihar leave state after lynching incidents, ban on internet lifted


AGARTALA, July 2, 2018: Following the incident of a garment trader, who was lynched by the mob on Thursday in Mohanpur, several hawkers residing in the state mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, have fled Tripura.

At Bitterban slum, where hawker Jahir Khan Qureshi lived, a resident Jahangir Miah said: "They have all fled on the very next day after Jahir was killed. You can't hope someone to stay normal when someone next door was brutally beaten to death. They were afraid to travel on road and flew out of Agartala Airport on Friday."

Many of these hawkers have lived here for 12 to 13 years and some had their families with them.

In a multiple lynchings fuelled by child-lifting rumours, three people were killed on Thursday in West Tripura, Sipahijala and South Tripura districts.

The victims include a tabla teacher who was hired by the government to appeal to the people not to pay heed to rumours and a woman.

Asked if the children felt intimidated by the garment hawkers, Jahangir said: "They often bought candies for the kids. They were very well behaved, perhaps better than many of us. They spoke Hindi and stood out. They just got unlucky."

Jahir and several others used to stay as tenants in the house of Swapan Miah at Bitterban.

A tenant told the media that "The hawkers said they could trade across the country. But they added they would not return to Tripura if the situation did not return to normal."

He said most of the hawkers hailed from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. A few construction workers from Bengal still live in the slum.

Inspector-general of police (law and order) K.V. Sreejesh said on Sunday that situation had returned to normal. A government order to impose ban on Internet services, which started three days ago, was lifted in the evening.

"We have appealed to the people to stay calm and ignore rumours. The police are keeping a strict watch," the officer said.

Source: The Telegraph

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