A citizens’ organisation of Tripura has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah stating that Bengalis are part and parcel of the state since long and they are also “sons of the soil.”
The letter undersigned by Organising Secretary, Akhil Tripura Baishya Kapali Samaj, Ashim Sarkar, opposed the concept of introducing Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Tripura and the formation of Twipra Territorial council as proposed.
It reasoned, “Tribals never constituted a decisive majority in Tripura and non-tribals/Bengalis both Hindu and Muslims, always constituted more than 47-48 percent. Even as per census report of 1911, Non-tribal were more than 50 percent of the population of Tripura kingdom,” claimed the organisation.
During the last few hundred years, the official language of the state has been Bengali. In the year 1979 Major tribal language Kokborok was introduced as the 2nd officials’ language along with Bengali and English, according to the letter.
The organisation added, “When the Tripura kingdom prior to its merger with India On October 15, lost its East Bengal possession (Chakla Roshanabad, revenue actor for the Tripura kings) due to partition, the Bengali subjects of Tripura Kingdom entered the state to escape religious persecution in Pakistan. But they were not settlers as far as they were concerned they were moving from one part of the kingdom to another”.
The letter also included statistical analysis of the population graph of Tripura with the exact number of indigenous and non-tribal people living here. The organization also highlighted as to how the TTADC area constitutes the larger part of the land as far as the total area of the state.
“In Tripura state, 69 percent of people were non-tribals, 31percent were tribals. We(Baishya Kapali Samaj) belong to OBC community. In TTAADC-among the Non-tribals, OBC and SC are the major portion of the population along with remarkable upper caste community” the letter added.
The organization observed that the provisions of the sixth schedule are more than enough to protect the land rights and interest of the tribals to give them protection in other spheres.
It opposed the separate state demand terming it divisive. The letter also urged the Home Minister to provide sufficient representation in TTAADC or proposed territorial council in terms of people representative, employment, education, training, health scheme or any other scheme for selecting beneficiaries, allotment of land to the less people (bonafide resident ) in TTAADC area or proposed territorial council, which should be proportionate to their demographic presence.
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