Tripura Assembly: BJP-TIPRA showdown on ADC budget continues
Tipra Motha MLAs protesting in Tripura Assembly

Agartala: Pandemonium hit the Tripura state assembly on the last day of the first session and assembly speaker BB Sen suspended the proceedings for ten minutes due to massive protests and sloganeering by TIPRA Motha members. 

Tipra Motha MLAs were demanding re-examination for some Higher Secondary aspirants not allowed to write their Kokborok language answer papers in Roman Script. 

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The TIPRA Motha legislators also urged the government to rethink their policy of recommending CBSE to prefer Bengali script for Kokborok question papers. The language has been recently included in the CBSE curriculum even as the debate over its written form still lingers. Leader of the Opposition Animesh Debbarma moved the issue as a calling attention notice and sought an answer from the Chief Minister who also happens to be the Education Minister. 

According to Debbarma, on March 18 last, the exam venues supervisor of Ampi Higher Secondary school Swapan Kaloi as per the instructions of his superiors compelled the Higher Secondary aspirants of Taidu Higher Secondary School compelled the students to write their answer sheets in the Bengali script. 

“The students were told that if they wrote their answer sheets in the Roman Script, they would not be accepted for evaluation. All the students have submitted their blank papers,” said Debbarma. 

Newly-appointed MLA from Ampinagar, Pathan Lal Jamatia, also supplemented the issue and said that he had verified the incident with the concerned officials. 

Speaking in response to the reference, Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha said, “There are no instances of any direction to the students regarding writing answer papers of Kokborok language. The department of school education has no such reports. According to the available information, only 55 students among 3,235 Madhyanik aspirants and 45 among 2,605 Higher Secondary examinations have attempted their papers in Roman Script which is even less than 1.71 per cent.” 

Dejected by the Chief Minister’s reply, TIPRA Motha MLAs reached the well of the house in protest and started shouting slogans. Speaker BB Sen suspended the proceedings for 10 minutes. When the House resumed, the Chief Minister again assured that both issues will be taken care of. He said, “The matter of re-examination will be properly investigated. The issue of writing a separate letter to the CBSE advising a set of question papers for Kokborok in Roman will also be considered.” 

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The Speaker also directed the Leader of the House for timely and effective steps in this regard. Pathan Lal Jamatia from TIPRA Motha mentioned that even if one per cent of the students write their papers in Roman script, their freedom should not be snatched away. 

Leader of the Opposition Animesh Debbarma repeatedly highlighted the issue of a letter from the department of school education and directorate of Kokborok and other minority languages where the state government had informed the CBSE to prepare the question papers of Kokborok in Bengali. After much dilly-dallying, the government had said that it would look into the matter as well when members of the CPIM party, especially CPIM state several Jitendra Choudhury also extended support to TIPRA Motha Party.

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