Protests planned in Delhi to demand new states


Agartala : Demanding autonomous states in different parts of the country, around 100 regional parties and social groups will hold protests and rallies in Delhi later this month, a Tripura party leader said here Tuesday.

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“Various regional and local political parties and social groups have been demanding separate or autonomous states in 18 different areas of the country. To take up the demand at the national level, sit-in programmes and rallies would be held in New Delhi on Oct 28-29,” said Narendra Chandra Debbarma, president of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal-based regional party.

Debbarma, a former official of the union information and broadcasting ministry, told reporters: “Thousands of party leaders and activists belonging to about 100 regional, local political parties and social organisations would gather in New Delhi to press their demands.”

“The parties fighting for separate Bodoland in Assam, Telangana in Andhra Pradash, Gorkhaland in Darjeeling and Vidarbha in Maharashtra, among others, would participate in the proposed two-day protests in the national capital,” said Debbarma, a veteran tribal leader.

The IPFT has been demanding the creation of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas into an autonomous state. The demand was strongly opposed by the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front government and main opposition Congress.

“Ten lakh tribal people of Tripura are being deprived of all-round development for last 60 years compelling us to demand a separate state for the indigenous people (tribals),” said an IPFT leader.

A five-member IPFT delegation recently submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and union Home Minister P. Chidambaram seeking full-fledged statehood for the TTAADC to ensure overall development of backward tribals, the leader added.