Agartala, Jan 6 : After about a month Tripura’s tribal based parties, including the junior ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Monday resumed their agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), which has eight MLAs and two ministers in the BJP-led government in the state, restarted their sit-in-demonstration in Khumulwng, the headquarters of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).
Other tribal parties, including the Joint Movement Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (JMACAB), a conglomeration of many tribal parties, led by the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) had called off their agitation against the CAA on December 11 after a meeting with Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb. However, they would be resuming their anti-CAA protest and will hold a rally on Tuesday in Agartala.
“Thousands of tribals, including women and youths from across Tripura took part in the indefinite sit-in-protest in Khumulwng (25 km north of Agartala) on Monday. Our top leaders including party President Narendra Chandra Debbarma and General Secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia lead the sit-in-demonstration,” IPFT Assistant General Secretary and party spokesman Mangal Debbarma told IANS over the phone. Debbarma is the Revenue and Fisheries Minister, while Jamatia is the Minister for the Tribal Welfare and Forest Departments.
Besides keeping Tripura out of the purview of the CAA, the IPFT has been demanding creation of a separate state for the tribals and inclusion of the tribal language “Kokborok” into the 8th schedule of the constitution.
A delegation of the IPFT leaders led by party General Secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on December 12 and discussed their demands.
“Though the Union Home Minister had assured us to take favourable steps towards our demands, but we are yet to get any positive response from the Central government. We are still hopeful that the Central government would take positive steps in regards to our demands,” Debbarma told the media as the sit-in-demonstration was going on.
He said: “Amit Shah had told us that after the Christmas (on December 25) he would look into our issues or would hold another round of meeting with us, but nothing that we could notice has happened as of now.
“Despite the CAA, various border management measures and steps including erection of border fencing, the infiltrations from across the border are unabated. The influx from Bangladesh already had a huge burden on our resources and economy. The increasing unemployment would be further aggravate.”
The JMACAB convener Anthony Debbarma told the media that after the meeting with the Union Home Minister on December 12, the leaders of the JMACAB met Tripura Chief Minister on December 18 and January 2 to resolve their demands, but nothing appeared yet.
The JMACAB and various other tribal parties, including the tribal front of the CPI-M, the Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP)– the state’s oldest tribal based party, have been demanding that the Northeast states be keep out the ambit of the CAA.