By: Anurag Baruah
January 9 2023
Deb’s house was not attacked or set on fire. The viral images are of shops burned down in a nearby clash between supporters of two political parties.
In the run-up to the 2023 Assembly elections, Tripura CM Manik Saha released the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) government's report card on January 4, 2023. The following day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in the state to kick off the BJP's campaign.
Amid this, multiple national media outlets reported that former Tripura CM Biplab Deb's ancestral home in the Gomati district of Tripura was attacked and set on fire by a group of assailants with connections to the Communist Party of India (CPIM). The reports further stated that relatives of Biplab Deb were busy preparing for Deb's father's death anniversary rites when the "unprovoked" attack occurred. Similar claims were also seen on Twitter, and some verified journalists tweeted a video of the incident.
Meanwhile, Deb spoke to Republic TV, stating that the communists were responsible for the incident and did not clarify that the attack did not take place at his house.
We found a statement by the Tripura Police regarding the incident on their official Twitter handle on January 4, 2023. According to the statement, a political clash occurred between BJP and CPIM supporters in Rajdhani Nagar, in which three shops and multiple vehicles were damaged. The police statement clarifies that Deb's ancestral home was not attacked.
A report by The Indian Express quoted SP Ajit Pratap Singh as saying that the clash took place at a spot that was far from the ancestral home of the former Tripura CM, while EastMojo reported that the image of the burning building was actually of a shop near the house that was burned during the clash and not of the ancestral house of the former Tripura CM.
The report added that a four-day death anniversary ritual ceremony for Deb's father was to start on January 4, 2023, and BJP activists decorated the house and the nearby area. However, this coincided with a group of CPIM supporters putting up party flags for a different program. Some of the CPIM flags were allegedly torn down, causing a clash to break out between the supporters of the two parties, which led to arson in the area. Police have registered a suo motu case, and one person has been arrested, with the investigation underway.
Former Tripura CM Biplab Deb's house was not attacked or set on fire. A clash had broken out between the supporters of two political parties in the same area, but Deb's house was unaffected. The images of buildings on fire are of shops burned down during the clash. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.