Tripura's IPFT to press for separate tribal state, NRC

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Agartala (IANS) Ruling BJP ally, IPFT, will restart its agitation from Wednesday to press for its decade-old demand for a separate state for the tribals in Tripura, a party leader said here on Tuesday.

The Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) as part of its agitations would observe a 12-hour shutdown in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas on Wednesday.

It will also hold a sit-in demonstration in Delhi on December 11 and submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh detailing the party's demands, the tribal leader said.

"The IPFT and its seven frontal organisations have called for the strike on Wednesday in the TTAADC areas in support of the party's long pending demands," IPFT's spokesman and Assistant General Secretary Mangal Debbarma told the media.

The other demands include the introduction of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Tripura, withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, an introduction of the inner-line permit in the TTAADC areas and inclusion of tribals' Kokborok language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

The IPFT has been agitating since 2009 for a separate state to be carved out by upgrading the TTAADC, which has a jurisdiction over two-thirds of the state's 10,491 square km area, home to over 12,16,000 people.
In the nine-member council of ministry, there are two IPFT ministers -- Revenue Minister Narendra Chandra Debbarma (IPFT President) and Tribal Welfare and Forest Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia (General Secretary).

Meanwhile, another tribal based party -- Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) -- has also called a road and rail blockade in Tripura on December 10 on almost the same lines.

The state's oldest tribal-based political party, INPT, as well as the ruling BJP, opposition Congress and Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front have, however, been opposed to IPFT's separate statehood demand.

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