Agartala: The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), an ally of the ruling BJP in the State which held a demonstrations in Delhi on December 2 to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), on Saturday called for a 12-hour shut down on December 9 on the same issue.
During a media briefing here, IPFT leaders announced to observe the dawn-to-dusk shut down in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas on Monday to protest against the CAB and to highlight other demands, including a separate state for the tribals.
“As part of our uninterrupted agitation, we have called the 12-hour strike in the TTAADC areas on Monday to protest against the CAB and in support of other demands,” IPFT Assistant General Secretary and party spokesman Mangal Debbarma told the media.
He said the party held a seven-hour long demonstration in Jantar Mantar in Delhi on December 2 to protest against the CAB and also to press for its demand for a separate state for the indigenous tribals, who constitute one third of Tripura’s four-million strong population.
A delegation of IPFT, led by party General Secretary and Tripura Forest and Tribal Welfare Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia, also met Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and submitted a memorandum highlighting its demands.
Debbarma said a similar memorandum was also submitted to the offices of the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Tribal Affairs Minister and DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Minister.
IPFT, the junior ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, has been agitating since 2009 for the creation of a separate state for the indigenous tribals by upgrading the TTAADC, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 sq km area, and home to over 12,16,000 people, mostly tribals.
The ruling BJP, the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Congress and Tripura’s oldest tribal-based party Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) have been strongly opposing the IPFT’s separate state demand.
The INPT organised a blockade on Tripura’s main National Highway and the lone railway line for 12 hours on Thursday to protest against the CAB.
Another tribal based party, Twipraland State Party, also observed a 12-hour shut down on Monday to protest against the CAB, which seeks to fast-track giving Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians and Jains from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who entered India till December 31, 2014. (IANS)