Vested interests trying to spread rumours: Tripura CM

Agartala: Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said on Thursday that some vested interests are trying to take advantage of the prevailing situation in Tripura after the recent ethnic clashes, by spreading rumours and using social networks. "The authorities would take stern actions against them," Sarkar told reporters. Urging people of all sections to maintain peace and communal harmony, he said that some people with ill motive are trying to scratch the long-established peace, harmony and ethnic tranquility of the state. Sarkar, after meeting Director General of police K. Nagaraj, was talking to media persons about the August 23 clashes in which 24 people were killed and 17 vehicles were damaged. The violent clashes occurred after the members of a tribal party -- Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) -- attacked civilians, traders and vehicles indiscriminately without provocation. The situation turned violent as hundreds of tribals owing allegiance to the IPFT took out a rally and attacked passersby, including women, provoking retaliation by the people of various communities. The Chief Minister said: "We have ordered a magisterial probe into the ethnic violence and asked the district magistrate and collector of West Tripura district to submit the report within one month." "Central para-military forces are helping the state security forces to maintain peace and tranquillity. There is no fresh incident in the state since August 23," he added. The IPFT has been agitating for the creation of a separate state, carved out by upgrading the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council area. Tribals constitute a third of Tripura's four million population. The TTAADC was formed in 1985 by amending the Indian Constitution to develop the socio-economic conditions of the tribals. Of the 12.17 lakh population living in TTAADC areas, more than 90 per cent are tribals. The IPFT's demand was rejected by almost all political parties, including the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).