Monday, April 22, 2024
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Tripura tribal party blocks state’s lifeline over ‘Greater Tipraland’ demand

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Agartala, Feb 28: Thousands of tribals led by opposition Tipra Motha Party (TMP) leaders on Wednesday held their pre-announced demonstration on National Highway-8, the lifeline of Tripura, at Hatoi Katar (Baramura) demanding constitutional solutions to the tribals’ problems.

TMP supremo and former royal scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman also launched a ‘fast-unto-death’ strike demanding fulfilments of the commitments made by the Centre with regard to the demands of the tribal party.

Deb Barman claimed that in the midst of the demonstration, he was called by the Central government to Delhi to discuss their demands.

The tribal leader, who did not disclose whom he would meet in Delhi, said: “After returning from the Delhi meeting, I would discuss the issue with our leaders in Agartala and then the next course of action would be decided.”

The TMP, which has been demanding ‘Greater Tipraland’, or a separate state for the tribals under Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution, held their demonstration on NH-8, disrupting vehicular movement on the vital road.

A large contingent of security forces was deployed at the demonstration site at Hatoi Katar, some 30 km from here, to prevent any untoward incident.

Deb Barma, who last week held a meeting with the Home Ministry officials in Delhi, said that they want a written assurance from the Centre towards their demands.

“What we are asking for is as per the Constitution. We want the government to fulfil the tribals’ constitutional and land rights related issues,” the TMP chief told the media, as he urged all the political parties to join their agitation for the overall interest of the tribals.

On Monday night, Deb Barman had held a meeting with the senior leaders of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and state minister Sukla Charan Noatia during which TMP’s demands were discussed.

The IPFT is an ally of the ruling BJP in Tripura.

TMP President Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, opposition leader and senior party leader Animesh Debabrma, the party’s all 13 MLAs and members of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) took part in the demonstration on Wednesday, among others.

“I am ready to die for the cause of the tribals. My only target is to resolve the economic and constitutional problems of the tribals,” Deb Barman said.

Ever since the TMP wrested power in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) in April 2021, the party intensified its agitation in support of the ‘Greater Tipraland’ demand, which has been strongly opposed by the ruling BJP, opposition Left Front, Congress, Trinamool Congress and other parties.

The TTAADC, which has a jurisdiction on over two-third of Tripura’s 10,491 sq km area, and is home to over 12,16,000 people, of which around 84 per cent are tribals, is, in terms of its political significance, the second most important constitutional body after the Tripura Assembly.

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