A couple of statues of communist icon Vladimir Lenin were pulled down in Tripura, police said on Tuesday, even as authorities struggled to contain the post-poll violence after the BJP swept to power on March 3 and ended 25 years of leftist rule in the state.
Section 144, which prohibits assembly of more than five people, was in place in many areas and police had arrested the driver of the payloader used to topple a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Belonia in South Tripura on Monday.
In a video clip, which has been shared widely on social media, a mob can be heard chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai when the statue was tumbling down. Police sources, requesting anonymity, said a victory procession was being carried out by the BJP when a group broke out and directed the payloader to the statue.
The demolitions happened as supporters of the two parties allegedly clashed in several places.
BJP state vice president Subal Bhowmik said around 49 party activists were wounded in attacks by CPI(M) men. “Even police from the lower ranks were working at the behest of CPI(M). After taking oath of office, we will take stern action against the people involved in violence,” Bhowmik said.
Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury took out protest rallies in Kolkata along with his predecessor, Prakash Karat, and members of the politburo.
“These attacks show the RSS for what they are. Violence is their standard recipe,” Yechury told mediapersons on the sidelines of the event. “It is a pity that Tripura governor Tathagata Roy expressed happiness after a statue of Lenin was demolished. Even constitutional positions have been occupied (by RSS sympathisers).”
This came after governor Roy tweeted : “What one democratically elected government can do another democratically elected government can undo. And vice versa.”
Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the governor and director general of police on Tuesday to ensure peace in the state, where the new government is expected to be sworn in on March 8.
Along with the change in the government, Tripura is expected to see a new education policy and streets with new names. “The education policy will change totally. National leaders’ histories that are missing in school syllabus would be introduced. There would a small chapter on the Marxist rulers too,” BJP state in-charge Sunil Deodhar said.