Tripura: TMC asked to change venue of protest, party said no

News Desk: A day before Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee’s visit to Tripura, police have asked the party to change the venue of a rally that he is scheduled to address, citing concerns over the “spread of Covid-19”. However, TMC leaders said they would go ahead with the rally in front of Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhawan in Agartala, since they had prior permission to hold an event there on October 28.

An officer from West Agartala Police Station, who did not wish to be identified, said cops have not cancelled the rally but have asked TMC to shift the event to Swami Vivekananda stadium since it will offer a much larger space to accommodate a gathering.

“Initially, they had told us that nearly 200-300 people will be joining their programme. Later, we came to know that thousands of people are likely to attend the event. Therefore, we asked them to change the venue to prevent the likelihood of Covid-19 spread. It will also ensure that there are no problems with the movement of traffic” a senior police official said.

TMC leaders, however, expressed their unhappiness with the development saying that they had been given permission to hold the rally in front of Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhawan on October 28 and police were asking them to change the venue at the last moment.

“The state government has already said that anybody coming from states which are reporting a Covid-19 positivity rate of above 5% should carry a negative RT-PCR report. But the positivity rate is not above 5% in West Bengal now. They are just asking us to change the venue at the last moment” said TMC leader Sushmita Dev.

Tripura TMC leader Subal Bhowmik said, “We will not change our venue”

Earlier, Abhishek’s rally had been denied permission twice last month on the grounds of ensuring that Covid-19 norms are not violated.