Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), the ruling ally of Tripura, welcomed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) initiative of forming a high-level committee as it considers this will help in solving the social, economic, cultural and linguistic issues of the indigenous population in the state. The political party is also hopeful of its demand for ‘Tipraland’ being fulfilled with the help of this committee.
IPFT spokesperson and Assistant General Secretary Mangal Debbarma attending a press conference, said, “We welcome this committee and thank the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). This has been our long-standing demand. Though ‘Tipraland’ is not formally included in the ambit of the committee, it will eventually go towards fulfilling statehood agenda.”
The high-level Committee formed by MHA comprises of 13 members and was announced on September 27. There are nine members on board including Special Secretary of Internal Security, MHA, Joint Secretary (NE), MHA, Joint Secretary of Tribal Affairs ministry, MHRD, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Advisor of NITI Ayog, Joint Secretaries of Ministry of Skill Development, Ministry of DoNER.
There are, however, contradictory opinions on the demand for Tipraland by the IPFT. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says that the party wouldn’t support a separate state. Similarly, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb too said that his party wouldn’t support division of Tripura. On the other hand, the IPFT leaders have said that statehood is their main agenda and they wouldn’t budge from the demand.
Reacting to IPFT’s statements, BJP spokesperson Mrinal Kanti Deb said, “Our agenda is EK Tripura, Srestha Tripura. The state government is also working in that direction. The central government promised ahead of the Assembly election to conduct a study on socio-economic, cultural aspects of the indigenous communities. We thank the central government for keeping their promise. We are hopeful that the long-standing problems of indigenous communities in Tripura will be solved”.