Tripura’s ruling Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) Monday announced it would stage a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on December 2 to demand the formation of ‘Tipraland’, a separate proposed state for indigenous communities. The party claimed the Centre’s decision to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh — implied its “in-principle support” for Tipraland.
The tribal party, which is in alliance with the BJP in the state since last year, was formed in 2009 under N C Debbarma with the demand for a separate statehood for Tripura’s tribals.
In a press conference at the Agartala Press Club, IPFT Assistant General Secretary and spokesperson Mangal Debbarma said, “A team of over 500 IPFT workers and leaders will head for New Delhi on November 28. We shall convene in a sit-in-demonstration at Jantar Mantar on December 2. This Delhi Abhiyan will be held as per previous programme.”
Debbarma also requested the Centre to formulate policies and ratify them in Parliament to make way for the proposed new state.
Among other demands of the party, IPFT has requested the central government to expedite report of a high level fact finding modality committee, which was formed last year, to examine socio-cultural, ethnic, linguistic and economic problems of Tripura’s indigenous communities. The committee, formed on September 27, 2018, was supposed to submit its reports within the next two months but hasn’t turned in its findings yet.
The party has also sought to forge a permanent solution for Bru migrants living in Tripura and pass an amendment for revising the 6th Schedule of the Constitution in Parliament. The Bill was earlier approved by the Union Cabinet in January this year.
Two leaders of the tribal party, including its founder Debbarma and General Secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia, are members in Tripura’s Biplab Deb cabinet. Though IPFT and BJP have maintained their alliance so far, the latter has expressly opposed statehood issue.