Agartala, Sep 24 : A large number of tribals assembled in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (ADC) headquarters Khwab Lung since morning to take part in the rally of tribal based opposition Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) pressing for their nine-point charter of demands.
The rally is significant ahead of ADC election slated for early next year where INPT raised two vital demands to sway the indigenous population. Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee president and royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debburman was also invited to address the rally as a tribal leader to protect the tribals' rights.
INPT president Bijoy Kr Hrangkhawal said that the party's main demands included implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC), introduction of inner line permit for ADC like other states of northeast to protect the interest of indigenous population, inclusion of Kokborok language in VIII schedule of the constitution and empowerment of ADC through direct funding.
“After a long time, tribal based party IPFT has become an important partner in BJP government in Tripura but in the last one and a half years, the core issues of the tribal have not got any space in the policy decision. It was expected, IPFT will play a significant role for development and protection of indigenous population but it goes reverse. The problems of tribal getting acute day by day,” Hrangkhawal stated.
He said during Left Front’s rule ADC's autonomy of more than 25 years was over and it had become like a department of the state government. The tribal life, culture, economy and livelihood have been under serious threat, as none of the government in the state as well as in the Centre so far could realise its importance. The parties which have been doing politics with tribal sentiment, INTP wants to dismantle this time, he pointed out.
“We are waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court regarding NRC in Tripura. We appreciate the Centre's move to implement NRC for the whole country but we are upset with the opposition of NRC by some local leaders because they don’t know the history of the state. After creation of Bangladesh there has been a continuous influx till today, which affects the demographic profile of the state and the crisis have deepened due to resource crunch,” he pointed out.
The indigenous population became a minority in Tripura because of large scale infiltration and influx from Bangladesh. The state has been suffering from criminal activities and border crimes for the last few decades due to infiltration who had crossed the border and now they are having a sense of insecurity that leads them to disturb the culture and heritage of Tripura, Hrangkhawal observed.
The rally discussed all the vital issues affecting tribal life and culture of Tripura. While demanding NRC in the state, INPT opposed to amendment of the citizenship act because they believed it would further encourage infiltration in Tripura, creating a serious crisis of existence for the indigenous people. He indicated that INPT's agitation programme would continue in a phased manner in the coming months. (UNI)