Students from Tripura living across the national capital as well as from neighbouring city like Dehradun came together to show solidarity towards the indigenous people of their state and held a peaceful sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday.
Organised by International Tiprasa Forum under the theme ‘Justice for Indigenous People of Tripura’, the protestors demand a proper CBI investigation into atrocities committed to the indigenous people of Tripura during a peaceful rally by Indigenous People Front of Tripura (IFPT) demanding separate tribal state Twipra Land at Agartala on August 23.
“23rd August, 2016 was a sad day. Not just for the Indigenous people of Tripura but for Indians all over the world. On this day, a peaceful rally by Indigenous People Front of Tripura (IFPT) in Agartala in full adherence to the Right to Assemble and Demonstrate was unconstitutionally, criminally, and mercilessly attacked by certain communal, unruly elements who are of ostensibly of the illegal immigrant population from Bangladesh,” the statement said. “Today, students and professionals belonging to Tripura have come together to highlights the incident which had happen on 23rd august, 2016 in Agartala. It was a sad day for our country because it is a complete violation of our constitutional fundamental rights which is right to assemble and demonstrate,” said Hawmchang Debbarma, president, International Tiprasa Forum.
During the rally on August 23 in Agartala, more than 25 persons, most of them from the tribal community, were injured in the skirmish and a dozen vehicles were burned beside damage of shops. Following the untoward incident, a large number of tribals, majority of them students or working in the capital city, had fled out of fear of a backlash.
“Our families back at home are in tense and feeling insecure. We want to know why they are feeling insecure in our own land, in our own country. Being an Indian, our only urged to the government is we want peace, we don’t want violence,” added Billow Jamatia, president, Tripura Student Forum, Delhi. Students from Tripura have made an appeal to the Home Ministry to intervene in the state, either through a personal visit by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh or through a swift CBI enquiry.
Seeking proper redressal, relief and compensation to the victims and to highlight the historical negligence towards the indigenous people of Tripura are also part of the agendas at the sit-in protest. “We are here sitting in a peaceful way demanding the centre for a severe investigation on what actually happened on 23rd of August. The state media says that, it is the IPFT cadres who created non-violence in the state. But as we can see that the casualties are on only found on one side. So I don’t think so, that is the outcome of a peaceful rally. I think that was a pre-plan. So our demand is a proper investigation without the influence of state government or any political parties,” said Debbarma, a student.
Henceforth, the protestors are demanding an intervention of the Central Government and safety assurance as the unfortunate indigenous people of Tripura have became minority in their own motherland and insecure in their own homeland. “We, the International Tiprasa Forum (ITF) also termed this recent Agartala incident as alarming and called upon the centre and the respective state government to take a firm stand on the issue on illegal Bangladeshi immigrants,” statement added.