Tripura Tribal Autonomous Body to set up separate police force

AGARTALA: Of the 10 tribal Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in the country’s northeastern region, the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) is the first constitutional body to set up its own police force to deal with petty crimes and disputes. The Tripura government, however, is not aware of the TTAADC’s move to create the unarmed separate police force.

“We are not aware of the TTAADC’s move. We have to study the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution,” Tripura’s Law and Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath told IANS.

TTAADC Chairman Jagadish Debbarma said that to frame the necessary rules for the proposed police force, obligatory proposals would be tabled in the two-day council session, beginning on Friday.

“A bill was passed in 1994 by the TTAADC to constitute a separate unarmed police force. It became an act after the then governor Siddheswar Prasad gave his assent in 1997. The Governor had asked the TTAADC to frame necessary rules for the purpose. Now, we will do it,” said Debbarma.

The CPI-M led Left Front government headed by Chief Minister and veteran tribal leader Dasaratha Deb (1993-1998) was in power in Tripura when the TTAADC enacted the law.

The TTAADC that time was governed by the Congress-led alliance.

Debbarma said that to deal with petty crimes and disputes, a separate police force is required for the TTAADC, which has a jurisdiction on over two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 sq. km. area and is home to over 12,16,000 people, of which around 84 per cent are tribals.

“When the TTAADC was constituted in 1985, the percentage of tribal population within the council’s jurisdiction was 88 per cent and now, it has reduced to 84 per cent. The percentage of the non-tribal population increased to 16 per cent from the 12 per cent in 36 years,” the TAADC chairman said.

The TTAADC is the first tribal autonomous body in the entire northeastern region that would constitute the separate police force.

There are 10 autonomous district councils (ADCs) in northeast India facilitating the socio- economic development of tribals, who make up 27-28 per cent of the region’s total population of around fifty million.

Of the 10 ADCs, constituted under the Sixth and Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution, three each are in Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram and one in Tripura.

Newly formed TIPRA (Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance) headed by Tripura’s royal scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barma captured the politically important TTAADC in April by winning 18 of the 28 seats for which elections were held.

The TIPRA scripted history in the northeastern state by capturing the TTAADC, which is considered as a mini-legislative assembly of Tripura.

The tribal party has been demanding a “Greater Tipraland” (a greater territory for the tribals) even as the demand triggered huge doubts and fears in the mixed populated Tripura ever since the newly-formed party raised the demand in 2019.The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s junior ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and TIPRA jointly organised three-day demonstrations at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on November 30 to December 2 highlighting the “Greater Tipraland” demand.

The “Greater Tipraland” demand was rejected by all the major political parties — the BJP, CPI-M and the Congress. (IANS)

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