Agartala: Six tribal youths, agitating against the NDA government’s controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, were injured in police firing in Tripura on Tuesday, police said. “Some tribal youths while demonstrating against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill turned violent at Madhab Bari in western Tripura. CRPF troopers after being unable to control the mob opened fire injuring six tribal youths, two of them seriously,” said a police officer.
A jawan of the Central Reserve Police Force was also injured following an attack by agitators, who also burnt down at least 22 shops in the area. The police said the CRPF and Tripura State Rifles jawans resorted to lathicharge and burst teargas shells to bring the situation under control before the firing. Two tribal parties — Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura strongly opposing the Citizenship Bill — are yet to confirm the identity of the injured youths.
Two critically injured tribal youths shifted to the government-run Gobinda Ballav Panth Medical College and Hospital here. Senior police officer along with large contingent of security forces are camping in the areas, 20 km north of Agartala. Para-Military Assam Rifles had held a flag march in the mixed populated areas. Police climed that the situation was under control.
Ruling BJP’s ally IPFT’s Assistant General Secretary Mangal Debbarma told IANS that they have extended moral support to the NESO’s shutdown in the northeastern region comprising seven states, excluding Sikkim. “We did not organise any movement on Tuesday as part of the opposition to the Citizenship Bill,” said Debbarma, also the IPFT’s chief spokesman.
The IPFT is also a member of Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance NEDA (North East Democratic Alliance), convener of which is BJP-led Assam government’s powerful minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Tripura’s oldest tribal-based party INPT also strongly opposing the Citizenship Bill claimed that the proposed legislation can result in changing the demography of several northeastern states.
Amid strong opposition by various political parties, including Congress, Left and Trinamool Congress, the Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 that seeks to grant citizenship to migrants from six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.