CPI(M) lodges police complaint against BJP for laying foundation stone for Ram temple in Tripura

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AGARTALA, Oct 21 (PTI): The opposition CPI(M) in Tripura has lodged a complaint against the ruling BJP and the Sanatan Sena for laying the foundation stone for a Ram temple on a plot of land in a tribal area of South Tripura district, where a plaque was put up by the Left party a year ago, police said Sunday.

Confirming the receipt of the complaint, South Tripura Superintendent of Police (SP) Jal Singh Meena said the foundation stone for the temple was laid at Matai, a tribal hamlet, on October 5 and the complaint was lodged on October 15.

The case was being investigated, he said, adding that no one was arrested in connection with the incident.

CPI(M) South Tripura district committee secretary Tapas Datta said the plaque was put up in 2017, when the party was in power in the state, in the memory of Mohini Tripura, who tried to stop jhum cultivation on forest land and was martyred in the 1967 movement against the then Congress government.

Jhum cultivation, which is slash and burn agriculture, is the process of growing crops by first clearing the land of trees and vegetation and then burning them.

Datta said the plaque was put up on a private land and was uprooted by the Sanatan Sena, a right-wing organisation, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists.

“This is an attempt to erase the history of Tripura’s Left movement,” he added.

Meena said the owner might have agreed to donate the land to the Left party for putting up the plaque earlier, but might have changed his mind later and decided to donate the land for the Ram temple.

State BJP vice-president Subal Bhowmik said Communist Party of India (Marxist) activists had forcibly occupied the land of a local person to build their memorial.

“They (CPI-M) were autocratic and the common people had no voice in the Left regime. This land was grabbed by CPI-M activists when they were in power. The owner of the land was on the dais when we laid the foundation stone for the Ram temple at Matai,” he added.

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