File photo: IPFT agitation for Tipraland

The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), an ally in the BJP-led Tripura Government said on Thursday that the Centre is evading their statehood demand.

A delegation of the IPFT led by party president, state revenue minister Narendra Chandra Debbarma, party general secretary and tribal welfare minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia met union home minister Amit Shah, DoNER minister Jitendra Singh and forest and environment minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi on Monday and Tuesday and discussed about their various demands including statehood.

The IPFT has been agitating since 2009 for a separate state to be carved out by upgrading the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 sq-km area and home to over 12,16,000 people.

The IPFT leaders after meeting the central ministers are very hopeful about their demand.

IPFT spokesman and the party’s assistant general secretary Mangal Debbarma said that they have urged the central ministers to give more autonomy and power to the TTAADC.

The IPFT’s other demands include the inclusion of the tribe’s ‘Kokborok’ language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and introduction of the Roman script for ‘Kokborok’.

Meanwhile, senior officials of the State Home department and leaders of the ruling BJP separately said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other central ministers have remained noncommittal about the statehood demand of the IPFT.

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