Talks fail, Tripura indefinite blockade hits supply of essential items

The blockade has affected the supply of essentials including food grain and fuel

The blockade has affected the supply of essentials including food grain and fuel

"On the directions of Union Home Minister (Rajnath Singh), Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Monday talked to Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and told him he would talk to IPFT leaders on Tuesday afternoon", the Home Department official said.

In response to the State governments invitation for talks to break the standoff over the IPFTs blockade programme, a group of nine IPFT leaders on Sunday turned up in the State secretariat and held a meeting. “Two of our leaders are scheduled to meet Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, on Monday; unless we know what transpires in that meeting we can not take a position and hold talks with the State government, ” said Narendra Debbarma.

The Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), after a failed meeting with the Tripura Government on Sunday, has chose to continue its agitation demanding for a separate state. "I briefed our stand to home minister Mr Singh and requested him to convey the central government stand on their demand clear, which help them to withdraw the agitation". "Home Minister assured me that he will look into the matter". They also stated that this should be decided in a tripartite meeting. "The Left government has remained a silent spectator". Bijan Dhar, state secretary of CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) is of the opinion that the BJP is trying to fool and lure people by making "vague promises" of autonomy.

But the IPFT delegation said that they could not relent on the issue which was a popular demand of the tribal people.

The politically important TTAADC constitutes two-thirds of Tripura's 10,491 sq km area, which has 12,16,465 (mostly tribals) of the state's 37 lakh population residing in it.

"The central government has been considering giving more administrative and constitutional powers to all the tribal autonomous bodies in the northeastern region".

Meanwhile, President of another tribal party Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura - and former extremist leader - Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl said Tripura is the "Twipraland" and tribals have been living here for decades and there is no need to split the state.

The Congress on the other hand complained that while the state government had not taken any step to remove the blockade, a section of unscrupulous traders were taking advantage of the situation and creating an artificial crisis of essential commodities.

"To protect the interest of the tribals, TTAADC can be made more powerful with increase in financial support, promulgation of inner line permit for outsiders, more land rights to the tribals and all-round development of the council areas", Hrangkhawl added.

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