The indefinite highway and railway blockade in Tripura, called by the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) demanding creation of a separate ‘Twipraland’, completed the eighth day on Monday, with a delegation of agitation leaders waiting for an audience with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the national capital since Friday. In Agartala, official sources said Chief Minister Manik Sarkar had a telephonic discussion with Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home, on Monday, during which the latter told him that Singh had assigned him to talk to the IPFT leaders as soon as possible.
A government press release in Agartala said Sarkar asked Rijiju to meet the IPFT delegation on Monday itself so that the blockade could be lifted. Rijiju reportedly told Sarkar that he would be able to meet them only on Tuesday because of the Presidential election.
Meanwhile, shortage of essential commodities and petroleum products have severely affected normal life in the state that has only one railway line and one national highway link to the rest of the country. Bounded by Bangladesh on three sides, the lone highway and lone railway line comprise its vital twin lifeline. Also read: Talks fail, Tripura indefinite blockade hits supply of essential items. Click here.
Sarkar had on Sunday had appealed to Rajnath Singh to intervene and get the week-long blockade lifted. One round of discussion between top IPFT leaders and the state chief secretary and DGP, held on Sunday in Agartala failed to yield any positive result, with the agitation leaders insisting on an assurance from the Centre on fulfillment of their demand for a separate tribal state.