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Regional parties call for shutdown in Tripura on Saturday
Regional parties call for shutdown in Tripura on Saturday

Agartala, Jan 11 (TIWN / IANS) Six tribal parties have called for a 12-hour shutdown in Tripura on Saturday to protest police firing earlier this week injuring six youths agitating against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, an official said on Friday.

The parties led by the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) demanded Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb's resignation, a judicial probe by sitting High Court Judge, compensation of Rs 20 lakh or government jobs to the families of the injured youths.

"The BJP-led government's police opened fire on the unarmed innocent people while they were protesting against the Bill on Tuesday in a democratic manner. We have called for the 'bandh' to protest the firing," INPT General Secretary Jagadhish Debbarma told the media here.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front opposed the shutdown.

"The tribal parties, who called the shutdown, have no base among the masses. These parties and the CPI-M are conspiring against the state government," Tripura Pradesh BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee told the media.

The Congress, however, has supported the call.

Left Front convener Bijan Dhar at a press conference here said that in the Tuesday's incident, at least 20 people were injured, 11 of them are being treated in Agartala hospitals and another in a Kolkata hospital.

BJP ally, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), has demanded a judicial probe into the incident by a sitting High Court judge.

Meanwhile, six leaders of NESO (North-East Students Organization), who had called the 11-hour shutdown in the entire northeastern region on Tuesday to oppose the Citizenship Bill, arrived in Tripura on Thursday.

While talking to the media here on Friday, NESO leader Samujjal Bhattacharya slammed the firing incident and demanded a high level probe.

Amid strong opposition by various political parties, including Congress, Left and Trinamool Congress, the Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, that seeks to grant citizenship to migrants from six non-Muslim minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In view of the shutdown call, security measures have been intensified and huge contingents of the Tripura State Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force, para-military Assam Rifles and Tripura Police have been deployed across the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas, covering over two-thirds of the state's 10,491 area, and home to over 12,16,000 people, mostly tribals.

Suspension of mobile-based internet services has been extended until 3 p.m. on Saturday to curb "unauthenticated information, visuals and photographs." 

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