A palace coup, supported by the Jinnah-led Muslim League, almost ensured that Tripura gets included into East Pakistan at the time of partition in 1947.
Tripura, which was a princely state at the time of partition, almost joined Pakistan owing to a palace coup supported by the Muslim League, claims Panna Lal Roy, a historian and author.
The coup almost overturned last Tripura Maharaja – Bir Bikram’s decision to join the Indian Union.
However, timely intervention by a few loyal ministers and warnings by politicians of that time ensured that Tripura joins India.
Panna Lal Roy in his book says, “Maharaja Bir Bikram announced on April 28, 1947 that Tripura would be a part of Indian union and on the same day sent a telegram to the secretary of the Constituent Assembly about his decision.”
“Unfortunately, the prince died on May 17, 1947. After his death, a group of highly placed employees in cahoots with the Muslim League had hatched a conspiracy for inclusion of the state with Pakistan,” Panna Lal Roy told PTI.
Roy in his book – “Prasad Sarajantra” (Palace Conspiracy), said that after the demise of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore, “a well-orchestrated” conspiracy was hatched by certain ministers and a step-brother of the late king with the Anjuman Islamia, a pro-Muslim League organisation in Tripura, to place a member of the royal family on the throne and sign a fresh agreement transferring the state to Pakistan.
Roy said the Muslim League was encouraged by a decision of the Radcliffe Commission, which gave away the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT), having 97 per cent Buddhist tribal population, to Pakistan.
However, a notification, published 25 days after the demise of the Maharaja Bir Bikram stated, “It is hereby notified that the late colonel, His Highness Maharaja Manikya Sir Bir Bikram Kishore Deb Barman Bahadur, Ruler of Tripura state, having decided to join the existing Constituent Assembly, nominated on the 28th April, 1947, GS Guha Minister, Government of Tripura, as the representative of the Tripura state to the said Constituent Assembly.”
“The then President of Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee, Surendra Mohan Ghosh wrote a letter to Home Minister Sardar Patel on October 29 tipping him of the conspiracy. This was followed by a letter from Hindu Mahasabha leader Shyama Prasad Mukherji on the Tripura situation to Patel. All these warnings led to Patel writing to the Governor of Assam on December 31, 1947 and subsequently the federal government rushing Air Force personnel to Tripura as a contingent measure.”
Finally, a year later, the “Instrument of Merger” for making Tripura a part of the India was signed by Maharani Kanchanprava Devi and the Government of India on October 15, 1949.