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Tipraland State Party strike hits life in tribal belt

Markets, government institutions, schools and colleges remain closed

By Tanmoy Chakraborty in Agartala

  • Published 3.12.19, 2:16 AM
  • Updated 3.12.19, 2:16 AM
A deserted road during the strike in Agartala on Wednesday
A deserted road during the strike in Agartala on Wednesday Telegraph file picture

The strike called by the Tipraland State Party (TSP) affected life in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) on Monday.

Markets, government institutions, schools and colleges remained closed. Most private city buses and autorickshaws were off the road. Bandh supporters protested on the roads with banners and flags.

TSP president Chittaranjan Debbarma told this correspondent: “The strike was successful today. We called the dawn-to-dusk strike over two demands — a separate ‘Tipraland’ state for tribals of Tripura and scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

“After Partition, there was huge influx of other communities who took shelter in our state and in other northeastern states. The Centre did not even try to stop migration of illegal foreigners. Once upon a time, indigenous people were majority in Tripura, but now we have become a minority,” he said.

According to Debbarma, the indigenous people of the state will be extinct and lose their identity if the bill is implemented in the state.

He said: “Many national parties, like the CPM and the Congress, also opposed the bill, but no one has protested against it. Till 1958, around eight lakh illegal foreigners entered the state and after that till 2001 around four lakh illegal foreigners came and took shelter here. Daily illegal migrants are entering the state, but no one is pushing them back. In 1994, when the summary revision of voter list was done, there were around 1.35 lakh fake voters and in 2012 the number of fake voters was at least 1.48 lakh, but nothing was done by the government. We are demanding the scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and implementation of Tipraland.”

IPFT protest: The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a constituent of the BJP-led government, staged dawn-to-dusk sit-ins at 33 places in the state, demanding Tipraland and scrapping of the bill.