Agartala: The Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), an ally of the ruling BJP in the state on Monday launched an indefinite sit-in against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) near the headquarters of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, about 25 km from here.
The party also pressed for a separate Tipraland by carving out of the tribal council from the state which constitutes two-thirds of the state territory.
IPFT spokesperson Mangal Debbarma said, “The demonstration will continue till the Centre takes a positive step. We want either the scrapping of the act or exempting entire Tripura from its purview”.
IPFT general secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia said, “Though our alliance partner, the BJP does not agree with our stand we will continue our agitation unless an amicable solution is achieved.”
“We feel achieving separate Tipraland is the ultimate solution to end the tribal angst in the state”, said Jamatia, who is also the Tripura tribal affairs minister said.
The party’s leaders said different tribal bodies had met Union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi on December 12, 2019, soon after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in parliament and he had assured them that he would make sure that the tribals are protected in the state. But nothing was communicated to them so far.
“The Centre and many government agencies have confirmed that there are illegal immigrants in Tripura and if the CAA is implemented here, it would harm the interests of the indigenous people,” party president N.C. Debbarma told reporters.
Debbarma, who is also the state revenue minister, said after partition many non-tribals had entered Tripura from the then East Pakistan and the tribals, who were then in majority, were reduced to a minority.
They would be further alienated if the CAA is implemented and foreign nationals are allowed to settle here taking the advantage of Act, he said.
Meanwhile, a joint forum of three tribal political parties and different social organisations announced a series of agitations from Tuesday to press for the scrapping of Act and also opposed the proposed nationwide NRC.
The Joint Movement Against CAA (JMACAA), a joint forum of three tribal political parties and social organisations, announced a series of agitations from Tuesday.
JMACAA too had met Shah on December 12 in New Delhi and had sought his approval for exempting Tripura from the ambit of CAA.
JMACAA convener Anthony Debbarma said on Monday that Shah had assured them a second round of discussions to reach an amicable solution.
We also met Union minister of state for home affairs G. Kishan Reddy for further correspondence and twice held meetings with Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, but are yet to receive any positive indications for a solution to the problem.
“We cannot wait for an indefinite period, so we decided to launch our movement,” he told reporters on Monday.
The constituents of JMACAA are Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT), Tripura Students Federation (TSF) and Borok Peoples Human Right Organisation.