CPI(M) accuses Cong candidate of misleading people

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Agartala, Feb 12 (UNI) The ruling CPI(M) today accused Congress candidate from Matabari constituency in Tripura, Maharani Bibhu Kumari Devi, of distorting information regarding the historical merger agreement between erstwhile queen Kanchan Prabha Devi and the Centre in 1949.

Addressing mediapersons here, CPI(M) spokesperson Goutam Das alleged that the Congress candidate was trying to mislead the people on the illegal land occupation issue in Malancha Niwas area of Agartala by a group of tribals.

He claimed that according to the agreement, the royal family had handed over the land to the Tripura government in 1965 following which the state government had initiated infrastructure development work.

However, all of a sudden, the Maharani had filed a suit, but her claim was turned down in the High Court division bench and now the case was pending with the Supreme Court, Mr Das stated.

He also accused the Maharani of instigating the tribals against non-tribals.

''She had played a major role in the 1980 riots and now a section of INPT leaders are trying to generate tension among the ethnic groups ahead of the elections,'' Mr Das alleged.

The CPI(M)'s reaction came following the statement of Maharani Bibhu Kumari Devi on the illegal occupation of the disputed land in the heart of the city.

Hundreds of tribals recently thronged the prime spot at Malancha Niwas near Raj Bhawan and began erecting makeshift settlements.

In a statement yesterday, the Congress candidate said the ownership question of the entire land was a sub-judice matter and it was the duty of the government to protect the land from any sort of occupation and encroachment.

''Maharani Kanchan Prabha Devi had signed an agreement with the then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel in 1949 and as per the agreement, the royal family retained the ownership of the Malancha Niwas and Lechubagan area,'' she said in the statement.

''However, during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, the state government sought the land for accommodating the Army and even after the Liberation War, the land remained under the military. In 1974, the government issued a circular and declared the area as 'khash' land. The royal family then started a legal battle against the government on this issue and now the case is pending before the Supreme Court,'' the statement added.

Meanwhile, a surrendered militant Mantu Koloy and some government employees were allegedly supporting the illegal occupants and asking the encroachers to stick to the land.

A prohibitory order remains in force in and around the Malancha Niwas and its adjacent areas, while security forces have been deployed.


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