Amid rising protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Tripura, former state Congress president and royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma Wednesday announced the formation of a new ‘apolitical party’ for indigenous welfare activism, including protests against the citizenship law.
The party, named ‘The Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance’ or TIPRA, aims to work towards protecting the rights of indigenous people of Tripura, Pradyot said in a social media post.
Pradyot also said he met tribal leaders at Ujjayanta Palace annexe building, where they decided to start a peaceful agitation against CAA from January 8, 2020.
“We are not a political party. We shall hold peaceful protests and will not harm anyone or turn communal. We shall hold rallies and protests will be held at the block and booth levels. Our protest is not against any community, language or religion,” Pradyot told indianexpress.com.
A Facebook page created for TIPRA describes the forum as a non-political organization aimed at upholding the rights of indigenous people.
“The Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) is a non-political organisation which aims to uplift the social, cultural identity of the indigenous people of Tripura. Our aim is to uphold the rights and identity of our people. Bubagra Pradyot Manikya is the Chairman of this organisation and everyone is welcome to join our organisation. This is a social organisation and is not a political party,” the Facebook post says.
Pradyot’s forum (TIPRA) comes after the Joint Movement Against CAB (JMACAB), a collective body of three tribal parties and social organizations, which was headed by him, failed to have a significant impact despite three days of strike in Tripura over CAB. A delegation from the collective went to meet Home Minister Amit Shah on December 12 and has been silent ever since.
Meanwhile, Left student organizations Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and Tribal Students Union (TSU) held a protest against CAA at Melarmath, near the CPI (M) state headquarters on Tuesday evening. The Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) held a protest demonstration at Orient Chowmuhani.
Students from schools, colleges and universities under SFI and TSU came together to protest against the CAA, saying they rejected the legislation as it was communal in nature and anti-constitutional. SFI state secretary Sandeepan Deb said the movement extended support to students agitating against the Citizenship act at campuses across the country in the wake of alleged police action in Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University.
Many of the protesters were from Assam, Bihar, West Bengal and other states, who are currently studying in Tripura.
In a second agitation, SUCI leader Sanjoy Choudhury called for a unified struggle against the CAA and NRC. “Both CAA and NRC are against the interests of people of this country. We demand to repeal both of these,” he said.
The state Congress also announced a statewide agitation in the first week of January 2020 against CAA, economic slowdown and rising crimes against women.
At a press conference, newly-appointed state Congress (acting) president Pijush Kanti Biswas said that his party would start a movement against BJP’s ‘anti-people policies’, which include the CAA.
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