Raising the pitch of its opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), the Joint Movement against Citizenship Amendment Bill — a committee of tribal parties and indigenous social organisations — Saturday announced an indefinite Tripura bandh from December 9.
The organisation has demanded Tripura’s complete exemption from the ambit of this legislation.
In his address at a media briefing at Agartala Press Club this evening, JMCAB convenor and human rights activist Anthony Debbarma said the protest would be held across Tripura, through methods such as road blockade and rail blockade. Emergency supplies would be excluded from the ambit of strike, he said.
Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), National Conference of Tripura (NCT) and Tipraland State Party (TSP) have come together to form this new platform. It is chaired by former state Congress president and royal scion Pradyot Manikya Debbarma. NGOs and civil society groups like Borok Peoples Human Rights Organization (BPHRO) have joined them.
This committee is a revision of Movement against CAB (MACAB), which spearheaded anti-CAB protests in the state in January this year. During that agitation, six people had sustained bullets wounds as police opened fire at Madhabbari in Tripura ADC.
INPT general secretary and senior leader of the agitating forum, Jagadish Debbarma, said they aren’t satisfied with the Centre exempting areas under Inner Line Permit (ILP) and 6th Schedule areas from the CAB.
“Tripura tribals are already in minority in their own state. Even if the 6th Schedule areas are exempted, accepting more non-tribals will only lead to a crisis of existence for the indigenous tribals. We shall protest the Bill and observe an indefinite strike across Tripura from December 9,” Jagadish said.
The bandh call comes on the heels of a 12-hour TTAADC strike by BJP’s ruling ally Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) on December 9. IPFT general secretary Mangal Debbarma said in a press conference Saturday they don’t agree with the Centre’s CAB formula.
There have been four other agitations against the CAB in the past two months by Tripura’s tribal parties, including a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
The North East Students Organization (NESO) has also called for a 11-hour NE shutdown on December 10 against the Bill.