A 12-hour general strike in Tripura Autonomous District Council (ADC) area by main opposition TIPRA Motha on Saturday seeking a ‘constitutional solution for indigenous communities of the state’ disrupted public life across the state including inter-district transportation.
However, there has been no report of any untoward incident so far.
The agitated Motha supporters have put up blockade on railway tracks following which several trains got stranded at Atharamura hill range in Khowai district.
A long-distance train with hundreds of passengers coming to Agartala was stopped at Mungiakami while trains from Agartala were returned and three other trains were stranded.
The passenger buses for other districts from Agartala stayed off the roads and similarly, no bus for inter-district movement was reported, as all the district roads and national highways passed through ADC.
The protestors agitated in 36 locations on markets, highways, district roads, and railway lines to press for their demand.
The opposition CPI-M opposed the strike saying that it would not solve the problems of the tribal, rather suggested for organizing a public movement involving all stakeholders for holistic development of the indigenous people of the state within the constitutional framework in a logical manner.
The party said, “The bandh will not help the tribal to achieve anything except for increasing public sufferings and economic loss of the poor people.”
The ruling BJP in principle opposed the bandh and called the people to lead a normal life by rejecting the bandh call. However, they didn’t force anyone to keep the shops or establishments open or keep away from picketing.
The state government also cancelled exams and asked people to join the offices but not undertake any steps to keep the functioning of the public offices open.
Meanwhile, opposition Congress neither responded to the strike in favour nor opposed it.
Motha founder and royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman, however, lashed out at the ruling BJP and questioned them about the unfulfilled pre-poll promises.
“I want Tiprasa community (tribal) to send a united message to Delhi to address our demands for a constitutional solution, as for past 76 years, we have been landless in our own land, with our rights stripped away,” Debbarman said.
He claimed it is not a political battle, but a struggle for survival and a better future for the indigenous people and reminded, “We must stand united without politics to secure a brighter future for our children. We aim to demonstrate unity to Delhi. We should not target any community, but we need to exhibit our strength through unity.”