December 10, 2018 6:00:13 pm
Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT), a tribal regional political party of Tripura, Monday organized blockade on National Highway 08 at three places and the railway track of West Tripura district, in protest against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and demanded greater autonomy in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas.
The protest started at 6 AM and continued till 2 PM after which the party leaders “courted arrest” to avert a confrontation with police. More than 400 picketers were arrested this afternoon only to be released later.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Assistant Inspector General of Police Smriti Ranjan Das said that large contingent of Tripura Police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) personnel were deployed before the strike commenced at 6 AM this morning.
The agitation was held in three locations on National Highway 07 including Khamtingbari at Barmura hill range, Raipasa in Ambassa and Hezamara under Mohanpur sub-division. The railway track was blocked at Bhrigudas Choudhury Para at Jirania, 25 Km from here.
West Tripura district police superintendent Ajit Pratap Singh informed that the protest was held sans violence.
“We deployed proper security arrangement to avert the undesired situation. We arrested over 450 supporters and leaders of the party, who participated in the stir”, the official said.
INPT president, a rebel turned politician Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl said, “We set up blockade on National Highway for 12 hours. We welcomed everyone who opposed to proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill is likely to be placed on the floor of the Parliament tomorrow”.
INPT general secretary Jagadish Debbarma said the movement succeeded to send the message of protest against the citizenship bill. So, the agitation was not continued after 2 PM to avert any unnecessary confrontation with the police.
A delegation of INPT met an inter-ministerial high power committee delegation in October and sought Inner Line Permit and implementation of NRC revision in Tripura to “safeguard identity and interests” of indigenous people.
The committee was formed by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to study socio-cultural, linguistic and economic problems of tribes living in Tripura.
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