Agartala: Activists of a tribal party on Tuesday attacked civilians and traders in Agartala, injuring at least 17 people.
According to the Tripura Police, tension erupted after hundreds of tribals belonging to Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) took out a rally and indiscriminately attacked passersby and vehicles, triggering retaliation by people of different communities.
"A group of people from the procession of IPFT attacked some persons at the heart of the town at Kaman Chowmuhai and ransacked some shops and set fire to some vehicles, apparently without provocation.”
"This incident resulted in clashes and at least 17 people including women were injured," SP (Police Control), Uttam Bhaumick said.
The injured have been taken to hospitals.
Soon after the incident, DGP, K Nagraj and SP (West), Abhijit Saptarshi rushed to the spot with a large contingent of police and paramilitary forces brought the situation under control, he said.
Bhaumick said in one place the police had to resort to lathi charge to disperse the unruly crowd.
The IPFT has been agitating for the creation of a separate state, carved out of by upgrading the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council area.
The ruling CPI(M) has condemned the activities of IPFT supporters and alleged it was a preplanned conspiracy to disrupt the communal harmony of the state.
"IPFT is trying to disrupt the communal harmony since long. Today's incident was a preplanned and aimed at breaking the communal harmony and peace in the state. We appeal to all to maintain peace and calm," the party said in a statement.
Tribals constitute a third of Tripura's four million population.
(With Agency inputs)