Turmoil in Assam likely to hit supplies of essentials, fears Minister

The agitations for statehood within Assam are affecting neighbouring Tripura, with a hardliner party of indigenous people announcing plans to agitate for a separate State.

The turmoil in the landlocked State of Assam — especially in the Bodoland and Karbi Anglong areas — has hit the railways and roadways that serve as Tripura’s lifelines for transport of essential commodities and petroleum products.

“Tripura would suffer if the current tension continues in Assam,” Transport Minister Manik Dey told The Hindu on Saturday.

He lashed out at the Central government for the restive situations prevailing in different parts of the country. The Minister said “the Congress is responsible for this [tension] and they should [resolve] this.”

Mr. Dey described the situation in places like Bodoland’s Kokrajhar as “alarming” and warned that all seven States in and around the region would be affected.

Meanwhile, the ruling CPI (Marxist) has strongly opposed the demand of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) for carving out a separate tribal State out of Tripura. “This is a dangerous and divisive demand and needs to be vehemently condemned,” the party’s State secretary Bijan Dhar said.

The IPFT has announced its decision to hold a rally here on August 23.“We want a separate State with areas under the tribal autonomous district council. This is a justified demand to protect our identity, culture and customs,” IPFT president Narendra Chandra Debbarma told journalists.

The Tripura tribal autonomous district council was established by the sixth schedule of the Constitution in 1982 and the council has jurisdiction over three-fourths of the State.

“We appeal to the people to reject this destructive demand of the IPFT. It is trying to confuse the people from the tribal community,” said Mr. Dhar.