Agartala, January 6: Tripura’s ruling alliance partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) Monday started an indefinite sit-in demonstration against implementing provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and demanded statehood for tribals of the state among other issues.
The party, which has opposed the contentious Act throughout, said it will continue its sit-in-demonstration indefinitely at Dukmali Bazaar in Khumulwng, headquarters of Tripura ADC, till the Centre takes a positive step on the subject.
IPFT, which formed government in Tripura in alliance with the BJP in March 2018, was floated in 2009 with the demand of ‘Tipraland’ – a proposed separate state for tribals in areas under the state’s lone autonomous district council.
The tribal party, like many others in the state, reasoned that tribals, who once were the majority in Tripura were relegated to minority due to massive influx of non-tribals from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
IPFT supremo and Tripura Revenue minister N C Debbarma said his party feels tribals would be further alienated if CAA is implemented and foreign nationals are allowed to settle here.
“There are illegal immigrants in Tripura. This was confirmed by several reports, many by the Government of India itself. So, settling anymore will be detrimental to interests of tribals,” he said.
Minister for Tribal Affairs and IPFT general secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia described CAA as “very harmful” for Tripura and said his party hopes the Centre to exempt Tripura. He claimed that Home Minister Amit Shah assured them to make sure tribals were ‘protected’ in the state during a meeting in December last year.
Mevar clarified that though their alliance partner BJP does not agree with their stand, they would continue agitation on these issues.
Both leaders of the party maintained that they feel statehood for tribals is the final solution for sufferings of the community.
Earlier on Sunday, Joint Movement Against CAA (JMACAA), a joint forum of three tribal political parties and social organisations, announced a series of agitations starting with a protest demonstration on January 7 over CAA and NRC in Tripura. (Courtesy: IE)