Agartala: The burning issue of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam is gradually spreading in Tripura as well, with tribal-based parties agitating to for an NRC up gradation exercise in the state with 1951 as the cut-off year. Tripura's three tribal-based parties - Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) and National Conference of Tripura (NCT) - have started holding rallies and demonstrations to press their demand that the NRC be updated. "We would again organise a five-hour sit-in demonstration on June 28 in Agartala to press for our demands. A similar demonstration would be held in New Delhi in September," INPT President Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl said.
He said: "If other parties want to hold the agitation jointly, we are ready to do so. Earlier, in support of our demands, we have organised agitations, including a shutdown along with IPFT and NCT." The INPT, IPFT and NCT have also been demanding withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, which is currently under review by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). These parties are also demanding introduction of an inner line permit to protect indigenous tribals, giving more power to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), restoration of alienated tribal lands and inclusion of tribals' Kokborok language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
IPFT Vice President Ananta Debbarma said last month-end that they had organised big rallies in tribal areas, including at the TTAADC headquarters in Khumulwng, in support of the NRC and some other demands. "We would soon hold a meeting of our party and decide our next course of action on NRC, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 and other demands," Debbarma said. The IPFT is the junior ally in the BJP-led alliance government in Tripura, while the INPT is one of the oldest tribal parties in the state. It was formed in 2002 by merging three Tripura parties, including the Tripura Upajati Juba Samity (TUJS) and Tripura National Volunteers (TNV).