More than 300 people, who were evicted from the area in West Tripura after their houses were torched and looted over the alleged molestation of a girl Friday are now too afraid to return home.
According to a senior police officer, the girl who was on her way back home with her fiancé on a motorcycle from the Durga Puja celebration was allegedly molested by a group of youths. Shortly afterwards, her fiancé returned with a group of people and set four houses on fire.
Revenue Minister NC Debbarma later reached the village and tried to pacify the situation. However, villagers sheltered in relief camps today claimed that attacks on their village intensified after the minister’s arrival.
“Their attacks on our houses intensified after revenue minister NC Debbarma reached the spot. He came to our village at 9 in the morning and attacks started one hour later. We requested the minister (to stop the attacks), he said the attackers didn’t abide by him,” Indian Express quoted a 50-year-old Samena Khatun from the village.
She also alleged that her house was ransacked, her cooking gas cylinder, gas stove, jewels, ducks and chicken were looted during the attack.
Sulekha Khatun, 45, another woman from the village said her house was set ablaze and the attackers looted from the village.
“I don’t want to return to my village. If the police kills me, then so be it. I will not return”, Sulekha told reporters.
“There is a TSR camp in close vicinity of our house. Everything happened before the police and paramilitary forces. The minister was also present. I shall not return there”, said another 85-year old woman from the village.
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC was promulgated in the area for 48 hours from 8 am Saturday, said the Police.
Debbarma declined to comment on the charge and said a press conference will be held soon. IPFT spokesperson Mangal Debbarma said his party didn’t have anything to do with the attack in the village.
“A girl was stopped on her way back home after visiting Durga Puja pandals. A boy accompanying her was sent away while the girl was kept in captivity by a few youths. We think the girl was raped on that night. We heard that a group of local people participated in an incident but IPFT doesn’t have anything to do with it. It is not right to blame IPFT for everything”, Mangal was quoted by Indian Express as saying.
BJP spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha said he suspected that a conspiracy was being hatched to fish in troubled water.
“Some people are trying to fish in troubled water. We have to remain alert. No guilty should be spared”, he said.
CPI (M) spokesperson Goutam Das said the attack was “undesired”.
“This was an undesired incident. We demand the administration and police to take all necessary steps to maintain peace and law and order”, Das added.