No headway in talks with Tripura body on blockade

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 17, 2017

"We have told the state government officials that we will not withdraw the blockade until the central government gave us a concrete assurance about our separate state demand", Debbarma was quoted as saying after the talks ended inconclusively on Sunday afternoon.

In response to the State governments invitation for talks to break the standoff over the IPFTs blockade programme, a group of nine IPFT leaders on Sunday turned up in the State secretariat and held a meeting. "We would decide the future course of action after their meeting".

Causing serious hardship to people and leading to a crisis in essentials and food grains, a Tripura tribal party continued its blockade of the state's main national highway and the lone railway track for the fifth day on Friday to push for a separate state. "The state government should also communicate its stand on our demand to the Centre", Debbarma said.

A nine-member delegation of IPFT headed by its president N C Debbarma met a delegation of the state government headed by Chief Secretary Sanjib Ranjan for talks to break the impasse over the blockade, but chose to continue its indefinite agitation programme.

On the other hand, the opposition Congress threatened that they will begin a state-wide agitation if the state government fails to end the blockade. "The CPI (M) and the Left Front government have patronized the blockade".

The state government, in this regard, stated that this agitation and unrest in the state is the deed of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who is trying to create a tumultuous situation ahead of the Assembly Elections.

"IPFT (Indigenous People Front of Tripura) and other tribal wings are on a road and rail blockade movement programe on the demand of saperate state, 'Tipraland" in the outskirts of Agartala, Capital of the Northeastern state of Tripura. "People of Tripura have no support for this demand", the note said. The TTAADC is constituted of 12,16,465 of the state's 37 lakh population and covers about two-thirds of Tripura's 10,491 sq.km. area.

Meanwhile, President of another tribal party Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura - and former extremist leader - Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl said Tripura is the "Twipraland" and tribals have been living here for decades and there is no need to split the state. He emphasised that the interest of the tribals can be protected if the TTAADC is made financially strong, there are more land rights for the tribals, promulgation of inner line permit for outsiders and all round development of the council areas is focused. The Centre is yet to comment on the issue, although its state unit has already made promises.

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