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Tripura tribals' pending issues to be resolved within eight months, says TMP leader

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New Delhi/Agartala, March 2 (IANS) Tipra Motha Party (TMP) supremo and former royal scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman, who along with his two party leaders on Saturday signed a tripartite agreement with the Centre and the Tripura government in the national capital, said that within the next six to eight months, the pending problems and issues facing the tribals of the state will be resolved.

Deb Barman, who will return to Tripura from Delhi on Sunday, said in a video message posted on social media, “Yes, we have signed a historical accord and we can celebrate, but not too much! We will have to work even more hard, and be disciplined as leaders and as a community.”

“We have to implement our land rights, funding pattern, language (script) issue, political representation and also restore our historical and cultural pride. What we are asking is as per the Constitution. We want the government to fulfil the tribals' constitutional and land rights-related issues," the TMP leader told the media earlier.

Tribals constitute one-third of Tripura’s four-million population.

Deb Barman also appreciated Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his reference to the history of Tripura during his address after the signing of the agreement.

According to the tripartite agreement, a joint working group/committee would be formed to work out and implement the mutually-agreed points in a time-bound manner to ensure a honourable solution.

“…Government of India, government of Tripura and TIPRA (TMP) agreed to amicably resolve all issues of the indigenous people of Tripura relating to history, land rights, political rights, economic development, identity, culture, language etc.,” the agreement said.

Besides Deb Barman, opposition leader and senior TMP leader Animesh Debbarma, TMP President Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, Tripura Chief Secretary J.K. Sinha, and Home Ministry’s Additional Secretary (NE) Piyush Goyal signed the tripartite agreement.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha, former Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Tribal Welfare Minister Bikash Debbarma, Tribal Welfare (TRP and PTG) Minister and Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) leader Sukla Charan Noatia, BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra, and TTAADC Chairman Jagadhish Debbarma were also present during the signing of the agreement, among others.

Meanwhile, the TMP, which has been demanding 'Greater Tipraland' or a separate state for the tribals under Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution, is continuing with its demonstrations since February 28 at Hatoi Katar (Baramura) on National Highway-8, the lifeline of Tripura.

The TMP is demanding further strengthening of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), protection of the constitutional rights of the tribals, direct funding to the tribal autonomous body, and further modification of the tribals’ land rights.

Ever since the TMP wrested power in the politically-important TTAADC in April 2021, the party has intensified its agitation in support of the ‘Greater Tipraland’ demand, which has been strongly opposed by the ruling BJP, the opposition Left Front, Congress, Trinamool Congress and other parties.

The TTAADC, which has jurisdiction over two-third of Tripura's 10,491 sq km area, and is home to over 12,16,000 people, of which around 84 per cent are tribals, is, in terms of its political significance, the second most important constitutional body after the Tripura Assembly.

--IANS

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