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From Our Special Correspondent
GUWAHATI: Tripura parties, representing indigenous groups, welcomed the observation of the Supreme Court to constitute separate constitutional benches to hear petitions from the state and Assam challenging the validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The Joint Movement Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (JMACAB), a forum of tribal political parties and social organisations, while hailing the development as positive, would keep its movement against the Act going till the next hearing of the apex court on the petitions filed against the contentious legislation.
The parties, it may be noted, have of late returned to the agitation mode with the Centre not responding to its prime demands of exemption of the state from the purview of CAA and creation of a separate state for indigenous people.
“Despite repeated assurances by the Union home minister on further deliberations on the matter, there has been no response so far. But we will keep the movement on even as we have fixed a meeting later this month to decide on the future course of action. We are anticipating a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court,” JMACAB convener, Anthony Debbarma, told The Shillong Times on Wednesday.
He further blamed the Centre’s indifferent attitude towards checking influx of states like Tripura and Assam, which share a border with Bangladesh.
“Had the Centre been serious before to guard the two states from the onslaught of unchecked infiltration, such a problem affecting the demography of the states, particularly Tripura, where tribals have been reduced to a minority, would not have arisen,” Debbarma said.
The Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), an ally in the BJP-led government in Tripura, too, had earlier this month taken the agitation route over the two primary demands of tribal groups in the state.
“But we are happy that the apex court has decided to treat both Tripura and Assam as special cases. However, we will take a decision soon in regard to what course the movement for our demands takes,” IPFT general secretary and Tripura tribal welfare minister, Mevar Kumar Jamatia, said.
Tripura royal scion and chairman of TIPRA (The Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance, the apolitical outfit launched last month), Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, too, hailed the observation made by the top court.
“Welcome the Supreme Court order in segregating Tripura/Assam from the rest of the country as issues are quite different in our part. Supreme Court also took note of cross-border infiltration (as shown on video as evidence in Simna and Khowai incidents). Supreme Court also took note of our regional agreements like TNV (Tripura National Volunteers) and ATTF (All Tripura Tiger Force) accords as well as instrument of accession signed by Kanchan Prabha Devi, and we are hopeful that a constitutional bench will be constituted and address our issue within a month,” Debbarma stated in a post on social media.
“We are glad that our issues were not hijacked as has been on previous occasions. The government of India has one month to respond,” he added.