Agartala, July 11 (IANS) A Tripura tribal party, demanding a separate state, on Tuesday continued an indefinite blockade of the National Highway and the lone railway line in the north-eastern state.
The Tripura government again urged the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) to withdraw the blockade, imposed since Monday, which could create a serious crisis of essentials, food grains, various fuels and other important goods besides putting people in an uncomfortable condition.
The Left Front government, which is strongly opposed to both the demand and the stir, has taken unprecedented security measures in and around the Baramura hill ranges, through which the NH-8 and the railway line passes.
“The agitators, who include women, are peacefully blockading the roads and railway line. No untoward incident has been reported so far. We are closely supervising the situation since Sunday, a day before the blockade was started,” West District Police Chief Abhijit Saptarshi told IANS from the blockade area, 35 km north of here.
Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said that in view of the blockade, all trains were cancelled in Tripura.
The IPFT is agitating for the creation of a separate state, carved out by upgrading the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) area.
The politically-important council constitutes two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 sq.km. area which has 12,16,465 (mostly tribals) of the state’s 37 lakh population residing in it.
IPFT President Narendra Chandra Debbarma said: “In support of our demand, we would continue to block the National Highway and the railway for an indefinite period until the central government gives a positive assurance towards our demand. A rally would also be organised in Agartala on the same issue on August 23.”
Most of the political parties, including the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have rejected IPFT’s demands.
However, CPI-M State Secretary Bijan Dhar blamed the BJP for the blockade, saying they did a similar thing in Manipur.
The BJP denied the allegations.