Tripura security beefed up following VHP's bandh call

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Agartala, Jul 3: The Tripura government deployed extra security forces at all major establishments, including all bus terminuses and roads of the state, following the Vishwa Hindu Parisad's (VHP) 'Bharat bandh' call today to protest the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) land acquisition issue.

Police said the bandh did not have any impact on public life and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

Both state and inter-state buses departed from the depots as per schedule and educational institutions functioned normally.

The VHP supporters organised picketing in isolated locations in the northern part of the state where the BJP has some base as well as in the state capital while the ruling Left Front in Tripura opposed the bandh.

In a statement issued here today, the CPI (M) state committee expressed its opposition to the strike and alleged that BJP-backed communal forces had been trying to commit atrocities on the pretext of the Amarnath Yatra issue.

''The VHP's stand on the issue is aimed at spreading communal tension in the country and damaging the secular fabric of the Constitution at such a crucial juncture,'' Tripura Left Front Convener and MP Khagen Das said and alleged that the BJP and its allies were concentrating on trivial issues, neglecting the important matters.

Meanwhile, VHP leaders lashed out at the UPA government's stand on the Amarnath Yatra and alleged that the Centre was not interested in the welfare of Hindus and was rather vindictive towards the community.

VHP state secretary Nityanada Das came down heavily on the Left parties and said, ''The opportunist Marxists believe that Hinduism is communalism and patronising the anti-Indian Muslims is secularism because they do not know the essence of secularism and never want peace and religious harmony.'' He pointed out that the Left-backed UPA government had been bearing the cost of plane fare of Rs 20,000 per head for each Hajj pilgrim, besides other logistics and the number of Hajj pilgrims had been increasing every year which now stands at about 1.6 lakh and total government expenditure is Rs 240 crore annually.

However, the Centre has imposed religious tax at 10.2 per cent on each Hindu pilgrim, which has proved their anti-Hindu attitude.

UNI

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