• Tribal forum holds protest against CAA in Tripura


    January 8, 2020

    Image Courtesy: Debraj Deb/The Indian Express

    Agartala: Hundreds of tribal people under the banner of Joint Movement against CAA (JMACAA) on Tuesday protested here against implementation of amended Citizenship Act (CAA).

    JMACAA is a joint forum of three tribal political parties — National Council of Tripura (NCT), Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), Tipraland State Party (TSP) and several other social organizations like Borok People Human Rights Organisation (BPHRO) and Tribal Student Federation (TSF).

    The forum had earlier observed Tripura Bandh from December 9 last year against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. They had later met Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on the issue.

    JMACAA convener and human rights activist Anthony Debbarma said they are against implementation of CAA in Tripura since the state has already sheltered thousands of refugees from the then East Pakistan after the partition of the country in 1947.

    The princely Tripura joined Indian Union in 1949 after signing a merger agreement.

    "Union Home Minister Amit Shah ji had categorically stated that that we would be called for a second round of dialogue again after 10-15 days. A month has already passed and we did not receive any indication that he would call us again.

    "He said the ways to protect the interests of the tribals would be found. If the central government can't keep its promises, how can we remain silent. Today’s protest is just a token and we shall resume our movement with more intensity", Anthony told the gathering.

    Animesh Debbarma, leader of National Conference of Tripura (NCT), a tribal party and member of JMACAA, said, "We are not against Bengali community or any religious community, but we want to protect and safeguard the interests of our community".

    Meanwhile, 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 CAA near the headquarters of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, about 25 km from here.

    The party also pressed for a separate Tipraland by carving out of the tribal council from the state which constitutes two third of the state 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 the Tripura tribal affairs minister said.

    First published in Newsclick.

    Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.