The dawn-to-dusk general strike called by the TIPRA Motha on Saturday to demand a separate State – Greater Tipraland – evoked huge response in areas under the tribal autonomous district council in Tripura.
Although the strike was peaceful amid heavy deployment of security forces, normal life and business were disrupted. Vehicles did not ply in some sections of the Assam-Agartala National Highway.
The TIPRA (Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance) Motha enforced the strike in regions under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) to demand Greater Tipraland or a separate State for Tripura’s indigenous population, which accounts for 33 per cent of the State’s total population. The TTAADC has limited authority over three-fourth of the State’s total land.
The TIPRA Motha, which governs the TTAADC, has 13 MLAs in the State Assembly.
“The success of the strike shows that people overwhelmingly support statehood demand,” party leader and former MLA Rajeshwar Debbarma told The Hindu. He added that it was high time that the Central government initiated dialogue with them to find out a constitutional solution to the Tipraland demand.
The police said TIPRA leaders and supporters staged protests in nearly 60 places and burnt tyres as they staged protests across the roads.
Speaking at one of the protest sites, TIPRA MLA Swapna Debbarma warned that their agitation may not be peaceful for long if the Central government did not find a solution to the Greater Tipraland demand.