Tension mounts in Agartala over illegal encroachment

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Agartala, Feb 4(UNI) Prohibitory orders have been imposed in the state to maintain law and order in Malancha Niwas area near Raj Bhawan here, following encroachment by some tribals over the government-owned land during the past three days.

Police said additional force had been deployed and a temporary police picket was set up in the area, apprehending violence and further occupation of the land by the dwellers, especially in view of the coming elections.

Reportedly, over 200 tribal families from different parts of the state had taken possession of government land at Malancha Niwas area and began constructing thatched huts on Saturday night. This created tension in the area, resulting in the civil administration today imposing prohibition on civilians movement.

''A good number of thatched houses and temporary sheds on khash land have already been set up illegally,'' said a district civil servant here and added that the administration had urged the occupants to vacate the land but had refused to do so.

The land in question is also disputed, as a legal case was pending in the court between Rajmata Bibhu Kumari Devi and the state government over its ownership.

Meanwhile, Sadar Sub-Divisional Magistrate D C Das said that the administration and the police did not force the occupants to evacuate in view of the coming elections, but tried peaceful means to sort out the issue.

However, the ruling Left Front ''smelt a political rat'' behind the entire episode and believed this could well be a design to create unrest in the locality just before the polls.

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