Ahead of civic polls, Trinamool leader Saayoni Ghosh arrested, Abhishek Banerjee’s arrival blocked

Several people including some journalists were injured in a spate of organised attacks at different places, including a women police station, in the capital of Tripura, Agartala, on Sunday. The tensions are linked to elections to the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and 12 other municipal bodies slated for November 25.

Meanwhile Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee cancelled his trip to Agartala on Sunday night after airport authorities refused to allow his chartered flight owing to technical reasons. Mr Banerjee had sought to reach Agartala in the evening after Tripura police arrested actress turned politician Saayoni Ghosh and charged her with attempt to murder among other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Ms. Ghosh has been named as an accused in an alleged hit and run case, and for allegedly making objectionable remarks at a group of BJP supporters during a rally addressed by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Saturday evening. The BJP cadre chased Ms. Ghosh’s car, objecting to her remarks.

Following her arrest, the Trinamool Congress had informed the local authorities that Mr. Banerjee would be reaching later in the night ‘to stand beside all our workers who were brutally attacked by BJP’. Party later announced that he would not be reaching but did not confirm his arrival on Monday after the police cancelled permission for his scheduled election rally citing COVID-19 restrictions.

The State’s ruling BJP distanced it from the incidents including two raids on premises of the East Agartala Women Police Station — one in evening and the last in the night – in the old Central Jail area here. Miscreants wearing helmets and facemasks injured several people, including some journalists outside the police station.

Almost simultaneously, the residence of State Convenor of the Trinamool Congress Subal Bhowmik was attacked and vandalised in the evening, leaving two party workers injured.

As tension rose, police officials shifted Ms Ghosh to an undisclosed police facility and escorted TMC’s national spokesperson Kunal Ghosh and other leaders to safety.

The bike-borne miscreants also created a ruckus at other places in the city later in the evening. Police officials said they were taking appropriate action, but no arrests have been made so far.