Agartala: A four-member delegation of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) called on Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Thursday demanding a separate ‘Tipraland’ carved out of the present Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).

IPFT is an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tripura. TTAADC constitutes two-thirds of the state’s territory.

The visit came shortly after the BJP-IPFT alliance faced defeat at the recently concluded elections to the TTAADC to newly-formed Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) led by royal scion Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman.

The delegation led by forest minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia, who is also the general secretary of IPFT, submitted a five-point memorandum.

Besides seeking a full-fledged Tipraland, the memorandum also sought submission of the report of the high-level modality committee for development of tribals, who form one-third of the state’s population, special recruitment drive for indigenous people, amendment of Sixth Schedule to empower the TTAADC and inclusion of Kokborok, the tribal language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

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Speaking with reporters, a senior IPFT leader said, “Our main motive is to press for the 125th Constitutional Amendment Bill which is pending for a long time. This Bill empowers the Sixth Schedule areas with more autonomy. If the Centre passes the Bill in the ongoing session, it will be a major boon for Tripura as well as the entire Northeast.”

“The government of Tripura has already recommended for inclusion of Kokborok in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India and forwarded to the Centre for further course of action,” assistant general secretary and spokesperson Mangal Debbarma said.

Apart from forest minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia, the delegation consisted of MLA Prasanta Debbarma, MLA Jiten Debbarma and MLA Dhananjoy Tripura.



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