A delegation from Tripura’s TIPRA Motha, led by their chief and royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarman, conducted a protest demonstration, or ‘Dharna,’ in front of Raj Bhavan in Agartala city on Friday. The delegation has been tirelessly seeking an appointment with Tripura’s Governor, Satyadeo Narain Arya, for several months but has not yet received the opportunity to discuss the concerns of the indigenous people of the state.
In a four-page letter addressed to Governor SN Arya, Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarman, Chairman of TIPRA Motha party, and Purna Chandra Jamatia, Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), highlighted the plight of indigenous people in Tripura. They expressed their disappointment that the indigenous population is being treated as second-class citizens in their own homeland, while they deserve to live with dignity, peace, and prosperity. The letter cited the negligence of the state administration as the cause of unrest among the people and emphasized the urgency of addressing their concerns.
The letter stated, “The TTAADC is facing unceasing stepmotherly treatment by the state government of Tripura. In the last two years of the present TTAADC government, many important bills have been passed by the TTAADC but are pending at your office for final approval.” It further highlighted the delay in the disbursement of staff salaries and other developmental activities due to the state government’s failure to release Rs 126.59 crore out of the allocated Rs 619.25 crore fund for the last financial year (FY 2022-23). The letter also lamented the meager allocation of approximately Rs 4.24 crore for the current financial year (FY 2023-24) for developmental works in TTAADC areas. Additionally, it raised concerns over the delayed Village Council election despite clear directions from the High Court of Tripura, which has adversely affected developmental activities in TTAADC areas.
The letter appealed to Governor SN Arya, as the constitutional head of the state and an experienced public figure, to address the grievances of the indigenous people by directing the government of Tripura and other relevant authorities to take immediate action. The delegation expressed hope that, given the presence of Droupadi Murmu, a proud tribal leader, as the President of India, their concerns would be duly considered. However, the letter also conveyed that if no action is taken despite the Governor’s intervention, the delegation would have no choice but to resort to a mass agitation.
Presently, ten bills and sixteen Customary Laws Acts have been submitted to the Tripura government for the Governor’s assent, awaiting approval.
The protest by the TIPRA Motha delegation underscores the urgent need to address the challenges faced by the indigenous population in Tripura. It calls for the attention of the state government, seeking the Governor’s intervention to redress the grievances and ensure the well-being and development of the indigenous communities. The delegation’s efforts aim to bring the issues faced by the indigenous people to the forefront, fostering dialogue and prompting action to rectify the existing disparities.
It is crucial that the concerns raised by the TIPRA Motha delegation are taken seriously, and the necessary steps are taken to address the grievances of the indigenous people of Tripura. The state government, in collaboration with the Governor’s office, must work towards creating an inclusive and equitable society where the rights and welfare of indigenous communities are safeguarded and respected. Only through meaningful engagement and proactive measures can sustainable solutions be achieved, fostering harmony and progress for all residents of Tripura.