Leaders of Joint Movement Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (JMACAB), a joint forum of tribal parties and social organizations stated Sunday that they will wait for Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s cue to resolve the impasse in the Northeastern state.
“We have met Home Minister Amit Shah. He gave us a patient hearing and heard all we had to say. There is a possibility to amend the Bill or do something to give us justice. He has assured us to do everything possible to provide us justice. So, we shall wait for his cue to resolve the issue,” JMACAB convener Anthony Debbarma told a press conference at Agartala Press Club Sunday evening.
Maintaining that Citizenship (Amendment) Act is anti-Constitutional, JMACAB leaders said they are hopeful of an amendment of the Act sometime soon. The JMACAB leaders, along with many other tribal leaders from Northeast, met Home Minister Shah in Delhi on November 29. Though Shah assured them of protection to tribals, they were dissatisfied and launched an indefinite statewide strike on December 9. The agitation continued for the next three days till they met Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and called the agitation off.
On violence during the anti-CAB strikes, JMACAB leader Jagadish Debbarma said they suspect ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters ‘infiltrated’ their agitation and created nuisance to mar the image of CAB protesters.
“We believe Mantrilal Kaipeng, who died on his way from Twichindrai in Teliamura of Khowai district, 43 Km away from here, to our anti-CAB protest venue at Sadhupara in West Tripura, was murdered. We have visited his family. We demand enquiry into the incident and punishment of those responsible and a government job for the family,” Jagadish said.
Tripura Police, on December 13 issued a press statement refuting reports of deaths during CAB strike and claimed these were ‘false and fabricated reports’. Accusing the state police and BJP-led state government of covering up a ‘murder’, Jagadish Debbarma today said Biplab Deb government has utterly failed in managing law and order during the strike.
Tripura has an estimated population of 37 lakhs, of whom 31 percent are tribals. Most of them live in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), which comprises nearly 68 percent of the state’s geographical area. As per the CAA, areas under Inner Line Permit (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram) and those under the 6th Schedule would be exempted from the ambit of the Law.