A peaceful dawn-to-dusk bandh was observed Monday in areas under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), over the demand for a separate state of Tipraland for indigenous communities and for scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
The bandh was called last week by the Tipraland State Party (TSP), a regional tribal party of Tripura, after the state government agreed to propose elevation of TTAADC to a territorial council. TSP had then said changing the name of the council would not solve tribal communities’ problems, and they would stick to the demand of a separate state.
TSP president Chittaranjan Debbarma claimed the bandh was “total” and received “spontaneous participation of indigenous people”.
“We received an overwhelming response from people. In all areas under the ADC, the bandh was total, from 5am to 5pm. Schools and offices were closed and trains didn’t ply,” Debbarma said.
He also claimed the ruling Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal party formed with Tipraland as its core issue, had lost public support since it went silent on the statehood issue after forming the government with the BJP.
“People are disillusioned with IPFT. The party’s leaders are totally silent on Tipraland since they formed the government. They are betraying their own agenda and people are now coming to us,” he said.
A duty officer from Tripura Police Headquarters told indianexpress.com that no untoward incident occurred anywhere in the state during the strike.
Tripura ADC is spread across 7,132.56 square km and covers nearly 68% of the state’s geographical area. However, tribals comprise only one-third of the state’s population of 37 lakh people. The state’s tribal council was formed as per TTAADC Act, 1979 under the provisions of 7th Schedule of the Constitution, and was later upgraded with provisions under the 6th Schedule.
Tribal political parties like TSP, IPFT and a few others demand a separate state for tribal communities, which would include under the ADC.