IPFT launches indefinite stir against CAA, for Tipraland

AGARTALA, Jan 6: 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 the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, about 25 kms from here.
The party also pressed for a separate Tipraland, carving it out of the tribal council from the state, which constitutes two-third of the state’s territory.
IPFT spokesperson Mangal Debbarma said, “The demonstration will continue till the Centre takes 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 the separate Tipraland is the ultimate solution to end the tribal angst in the state,” Jamatia, who is also Tripura’s tribal affairs minister, said.
The party’s leaders said different tribal bodies had met union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi on 12 December, 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 has been communicated to them so far, they said.
“The Centre and many government agencies have confirmed that there are illegal immigrants in Tripura and if CAA is implemented here, it would harm the interests of the indigenous people,” party president NC Debbarma told reporters.
Debbarma, who is also the state’s revenue minister, said that 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 CAA is implemented and foreign nationals are allowed to settle here taking the advantage of CAA,” he said.
Meanwhile, a joint forum of three tribal political parties and different social organisations has announced a series of agitations from Tuesday to press for scrapping of the CAA and the proposed NRC exercise in Tripura.
The Joint Movement Against CAA (JMACAA), a joint forum of three tribal political parties and social organisations, announced a series of agitations from Tuesday.
The JMACAA too had met Shah on 12 December in New Delhi and had sought his approval for exempting Tripura from the ambit of the CAA.
JMACAA convener Anthony Debbarma on Monday said Shah had assured them of a second round of discussion to seek an amicable solution to the problem.
“We also met union MoS 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 solution of the problem.
“We cannot wait for indefinite period, so we decided to launch our movement,” he told reporters on Monday.
The constituents of the JMACAA are the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra, the Tripura Students’ Federation and the Borok Peoples Human Right Organisation. (PTI)