Tripura to ask CBI to probe rape, death of tribal leader

March 7th, 2011 - 5:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, March 7 (IANS) The Tripura government will ask the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the alleged rape and murder of a tribal woman by Tripura State Rifles troopers last month, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Monday.

The Tripura assembly had to be adjourned twice over the issue as the opposition Congress and its ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) members demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident of rape-cum-murder of the woman, whose body was found hanging from a tree on Feb 18.

She was nominated by the National Conference of Tripura (NCT), a tribal-based party, as a candidate in the Feb 24 elections to the village committees under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).

“The government has no problem asking the CBI to investigate the rape and death of the 26-year-old tribal woman,” Sarkar told the house and added that the CBI had earlier inquired several cases in Tripura but “could not settle any of the cases”.

He told the angry members that the state government would approach the CBI to find out the truth behind the incident.

Sarkar, who also holds the home portfolio, said: “No one would be spared. Stern action would be taken against those found guilty.”

Opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath (Congress) said: “Exemplary punishment should be given to the erring TSR troopers and the security camp should be withdrawn immediately. Sarkar must step down owning moral responsibility of the incident.”

“The father of the victim complained to the police that TSR troopers gangraped his daughter and hanged her body on a tree after killing her in a nearby jungle on Feb 18,” Tripura police spokesman and deputy inspector general Nepal Das told reporters.

The incident allegedly took place at west Tripura’s Champahower village, 50 km north of here. Three TSR troopers have been suspended and arrested.

The discovery of her body led to ethnic tensions being triggered and tribals attacking a TSR camp. The chief minister and leaders of various political parties have visited the tribal-dominated village.

The TSR camp was set up in the insurgency-ravaged Champahower village a few years back.

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