AGARTALA, July 16 - The talks between the Tripura government’s senior-most officials and nine agitating Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) leaders headed by NC Debbarma and Ananta Debbarma , the first meet since the ‘Road and Rail’ blockade programme by the IPFT demanding separate ‘Twipraland’ state.
In response to the State government’s invitation for talks to break the standoff over the IPFT’s blockade programme, a group of nine IPFT leaders on Sunday turned up in the State secretariat and held a meeting.
In the talks, the State government was represented by Chief Secretary Sanjib Ranjan, Home Secretary Santanu Singh, DGP AK Shukla, among others. The officials pointed out that the State government is not ready to accept the demand for ‘Twipraland’ State and urged the IPFT leaders to withdraw their disruptive blockade programme which is affecting normal life of the State.
The government officials also pointed out that only Centre could initiate a move to create a separate State and the Bill in this regard should be passed in both the Parliaments and State Assembly, as mandated by the Constitution (Article 3).
But the IPFT delegation said that they could not relent on the issue which was a popular demand of the tribal people. They also said that two of their leaders are camping in Delhi to hold discussions with Central government over the issue. “Until we know what transpires in Delhi, we can’t withdraw the agitation programme unilaterally,” said Naendra Debbarma.
Addressing the mediapersons after the meeting, IPFT chief NC Debbarma indicated that a fresh round of talks would be held only after they came to know what happens in Delhi. “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 cannot take a position and hold talks with the State government,” said Narendra Debbarma.
If the State government was determined to reject the demand, a tripartite meeting must be held involving Centre for a solution as they also wanted an early solution to the problem, he added.