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Cong- sponsored bandh evokes mixed response in Tripura districts

By Staff
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Agartala, Feb 22 (UNI) The Congress sponsored 12-hour bandh to protest alleged rape of tribal women by Assam Rifles (AR) jawans evoked partial response in Tripura's North and Dhalai districts today.

Official sources said several Congress activists, including the party's state vice-president Tapas Dey, had been arrested on charges of putting up obstructions in different parts of the two districts.

The state government, which was opposing the bandh, said it was aimed at diverting the attention of the security forces to curb the activities of the militants, who had intensified their operation before the village committee elections to be held on February 27 and March 3.

The sources said the state government had already registered a case in connection with the rape of the tribal women at Sachindra Roaza Para and was awaiting medical and forensic reports to initiate proper action against the culprits.

The CPI (M), the major partner of the ruling Left Front, was also opposing the bandh describing the Congress call as ''politically motivated.'' The sources said vehicular traffic through the Assam Agartala national highway was normal. However, in some parts the shops, markets, educational institutions and commercial establishments remained closed.

The Congress has called the dawn-to-dusk bandh in North and Dhalai districts also demanding stringent punishment for the culprits and proper rehabilitation of the rape victims.

UNI RB TJP LS DS1310

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