AGARTALA: More than 380 activists and supporters of the Congress were arrested here on Thursday for taking out a rally without police permission to protest against alleged “destruction of democracy” in the country, a police officer said.

The activists were, however, released after three hours, he said.

The authorities had denied permission to the Congress for holding Akrosh (anger) rally in Agartala on Thursday due to security reasons, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (Sadar) Suman Majumder said.

“We arrested 389 persons who joined the rally today. They were taken to Arundhatinagar police grounds here and kept in custody for three hours,” he said.

Pradesh Congress president Birajit Sinha, who had taken part in the demonstration today, said the rally was organized to protest against the “anti-democratic” activities of the BJP-led governments across the nation.

“We are unhappy with the way the BJP-ruled governments are destroying democracy across the country. Since they came to power in Tripura, they have indulged in various activities to undermine the democratic rights of the people,” he told reporters.

The state government’s move to reclaim government land occupied by political structures is also an example of “attack on democracy”, he added.

Echoing similar sentiments, veteran Congress leader Gopal Roy said the BJP government in the state demolished Congress offices without taking proper measures.

“As per Tripura Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, legal notices have to be served to the owners before taking any action. There are provisions of hearing and further appeal as well. No such attempts were made. We shall go to the court. We will have all demolished Congress offices rebuilt,” he claimed.

Fifteen offices of political parties and affiliated trade unions were demolished by the government in different districts of the state since May 7. Of that, eleven offices belonged to the Congress.

Roy also blamed the saffron party for the political turmoil in the Karnataka and sought the resignation of governor Vajubhai Valaon for inviting the BJP, which failed to get a clear majority in the assembly polls, to form government in the southern state.

“In states like Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya, the Congress won the largest number of seats and staked claim before the respective governor to form government, but the BJP managed to secure power with post-poll alliances. Why is that not the case in Karnataka?” he asked.

Giving details about today’s demonstration in the state capital, Tapas De, the vice president of the state unit of the Congress, said 311 people from Unakoti, Khowai and Agartala joined his party here today on the occasion, having severed ties with the CPM and the BJP.

“The people who joined the Congress today were disillusioned with the ideologies of the ruling party and the CPI(M),” he said.

De also asserted that the party had sought permission from the police to hold ‘Akrosh Rally’.

“They (the police) denied us permission for the rally. The Congress leaders and activists were arrested today and kept in custody for two to three hours,” he added.



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