File image of IPFT protesters in Tripura Credit: Ranjan Roy

Agartala: Tripura ruling ally, Indigenous Peoples’ Front of Tripura (IPFT), has called for a 24-hour strike in Khumulwng area, the headquarters of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), in protest against the arrest of a party worker.

In a video message, Mangal Debbarma, assistant general secretary and spokesperson of IPFT, said that party worker Pradip Debbarma was arrested by the police under ‘false charges’ with non-bailable sections.

“Our active worker Pradip Debbarma was arrested under fake charges with non-bailable sections in the wee hours on Tuesday. Although he has no connection with any incident and crime, he was booked and arrested by the police,” the spokesperson said.

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He also said that an urgent meeting of the IPFT central committee was held at the party chief and revenue minister Narendra Chandra Debbarma’s house where it was decided that a 24 hour strike will be observed in the TTAADC headquarters on July 9.

“All the offices and establishments will remain closed for 24 hours, starting from 6 am on July 9 in Khumulwng area, headquarters of the TTAADC. However, emergency services like ambulance and police vehicles and medical shops will be exempted from the restriction,” Debbarma added.

The IPFT leaders also demanded that the ‘fake’ charges registered against the party worker be withdrawn immediately without any condition.

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Earlier on July 1 the party office of the ruling BJP was set on fire by a group of miscreants at the TTAADC headquarters a day before 200 supporters from IPFT joined the BJP. Following the incident, the workers of the BJP filed an FIR against the supporters of IPFT.

The BJP-IPFT parties are the partners in the coalition government that jointly defeated CPIM in the 2018 general assembly election.

Of the total 60 seats, the ruling BJP-IPFT coalition government has got 36 seats, of which IPFT has eight, and the opposition CPI-M has 16 seats in Tripura’s legislative assembly.

The TTAADC is spread across 68% of the total geographical area of the state and is home to over one-third of the total population of Tripura.

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