At least 15 people were injured in clashes and around 2,000 picketers arrested as a 12-hour shutdown observed in tribal-dominated areas of Tripura evoked a mixed response.
The dawn-to-dusk strike was called by the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) to demand carving out of a separate state for indigenous tribes from Tripura.
“At least 15 people, including supporters of IPFT and ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist, were injured in a clash between bandh supporters and rival political parties and businessmen,” a police official said.
He said that in areas under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, a numbers of shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed and vehicles went off the roads. Attendance in government offices, too, was less.
Heavy security was deployed to maintain peace and order in areas where the shutdown was enforced.
In a statement, the ruling CPI-M said the shutdown was called to divide Tripura and destroy ethnic harmony.
The IPFT has been organising protest rallies and demonstrations in New Delhi and Tripura in the past to press its demands. It also held a meeting with union home ministry officials in New Delhi on the issue.