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Tripura tribal council to get more teeth

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, Aug 2 - The Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), a tribal-based party in the state, has placed a set of demands before Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju in New Delhi.

A five-member team led by INPT president Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl called on Rijiju in New Delhi on Tuesday on some key issues which would benefit the state�s 33 per cent tribal community .

The team also met National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and demanded more power for the tribal autonomous district council.

INPT assistant general secretary Rajeshwar Debbarma on Wednesday said that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the NSA assured the delegation that a Bill for empowerment of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) would be tabled during the current session of the Parliament.

Recognition of tribal dialect Kokborok as a Scheduled language would also be taken up, he informed. Earlier, the non-Left major tribal-based party in the state had expressed deep concern over non-tabling of the bill in the Parliament for giving more autonomy to the tribal council.

�We want direct funding to the tribal council of the state for speedy disbursement of money to the concerned authorities and full right of land in the council areas. Unless more power or autonomy is given to the council, development cannot be ensured�, Debbarma said.

The TTAADC constitutes two-third of the state territory which is home to the tribals, who form one-third of the population. Interestingly, the Tripura council is one of the oldest in the North East constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

�The present council is toothless. It has to depend on the State Government for everything�, he alleged. Debbarma maintained that among the demands the prime is 50 per cent seat reservation for tribals in the Tripura Assembly.

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