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2 Tribal Bodies of Tripura May Join Hands to Push For Separate State

The expected joint forum of IPFT-TSP is going to be a big worry for the state as well as the Central government as recently IPFT had caused havoc by blocking National Highway-8 (the lifeline of Tripura) and the lone railway line for 10 days causing severe crisis in the state.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:July 28, 2017, 11:36 PM IST
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2 Tribal Bodies of Tripura May Join Hands to Push For Separate State
File photo of the tribal agitation in Tripura.(Photo Courtesy: Abhishek Saha)

Kolkata: Two key tribal bodies in Tripura may join hands to put pressure on Union Home Ministry for a separate state of Tipraland.

Speaking to News18, Tipraland State Party (TSP) president Chitta Ranjan Debbarma said, “August 23 will be our 9th Tipraland Statehood Demand Day and therefore we have decided to intensify our demand for a separate state to save our identity and culture.”

“We along with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) are hopefully going to launch a united movement to achieve our goal. We believe that together we can put more pressure on the central government for a separate state. We are going to organise rallies in all the 23 sub-divisions of Tripura and we have already started working on it to make it a successful event,” he added.

He said that there is historical precedence for a separate state. “With the death of its last king, Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur Debbarma – the Twipra kingdom merged with the independent India. The transition of Tripura from a nominal democracy to a full-fledged democracy resulted in mass influx of refugees over a period of 1949-1972 and left the sons of the soil (19 tribes) in minority. Therefore, we want a separate state to save our identity, culture and language,” Chitta said.

IPFT Working President NC Debbarma told News18, “Those who are in TSP today used to work with us in our organisation. Due to differences of opinion, they have decided to form a separate party. If they want to join hands with us for this common cause then they are most welcome.”

“We are getting support from two MPs from the North East states who promised to raise the issue in the Parliament. We are not revealing their names, but yes this was required so that our voice could be heard in the Parliament. The home ministry promised us that soon they will invite us for a talk and we are waiting for their response,” he added.

The expected joint forum of IPFT-TSP is going to be a big worry for the state as well as the Central government as recently IPFT had caused havoc by blocking National Highway-8 (the lifeline of Tripura) and the lone railway line for 10 days causing severe crisis in the state.

Recently, IPFT delegates met Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy and withdrew their strike after an assurance from him that he will convey the matter to the central government.

The President of National Federation for New States (umbrella body for those who are demanding separate states) Raja Bundela said, “Though the issue in Tipraland and Gorkhaland is different but our full support is with them.”

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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