Rallies planned in New Delhi demanding autonomous states

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AGARTALA - Thousands of activists fighting for autonomous states in different parts of the country have planned sit-in programmes in New Delhi Thursday and Friday and will submit memorandums to the prime minister for creation of separate states, an activist from Tripura said here Tuesday.

“Thousands of activists from 18 different areas of the country are on way to New Delhi to participate the two-day protest demonstration Thursday and Friday,” said Narendra Chandra Debbarma, president of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal-based regional party.

Before leaving for New Delhi Debbarma told reporters: “More than 500 activists of different regional and local parties of northeast India have left for New Delhi.”

“We would submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and other central leaders to create separate states in different parts of the country,” Debbarma said, adding that they have planned sit-in programmes and rallies in New Delhi.

The tribal leader said 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 two-day protests in the national capital,” said Debbarma, a former senior official of the union information and broadcasting ministry.

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.

“Tribals, who constitute one third of the Tripura’s 3.8 million population, are being deprived of all-round development for last 60 years compelling us to demand a separate state for the indigenous people (tribals),” said the IPFT leader.

There are 16 autonomous district councils (ADCs) in northeast India. Tribals make up 27 percent of the region’s total population of around 40 million.

Of the 16 ADCs, six are in Manipur, three each in Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram and one in Tripura.

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