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JSM rally a bid to create Manipur-like conflict in Tripura, keep a cool head: Pradyot to tribals

TIPRA Motha founder and royal scion-turned-politician Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma on Tuesday attacked the Janajati Suraksha Mancha (JSM), a tribal Hindutva body that called for a rally on Christmas this year demanding to de-list converted tribals from Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, and said efforts are being made to incite a Manipur-like conflict in Tripura over religion.

Pradyot’s appeal followed Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha’s “I have no comments on this” remark about the proposed rally.

While his comments drew flak from the Opposition, Leader of the Opposition Animesh Debbarma raised fingers at the CM on Tuesday, saying, “He is the CM and the home minister of the state. How can he not have comments on it? He should make his stand clear.”

In an audio message, Pradyot appealed to the tribals of the state to keep a cool head and said that if they did so, any effort to divide them along communal lines would be frustrated.

Also Read | Tribal student body opposes JSM’s proposed rally seeking delisting of converted tribals from ST list

“Some people are trying to make Tiprasa fight Tiprasa on December 25 in the name of religion, just like brothers killed brothers in Manipur…they want us to be angry, discontented and they want our tension and stress to go up. When we become angry, we might take some wrong steps. I do not want you to take any such step,” he said.

Festive offer

“If we keep our head cool, their plan will fail; they will be unsuccessful. You will become ill with anger, they will be defeated with peace. You know which side you have to choose. This is Bubagra sending the message of peace and love during the month of December,” he said.

Pradyot also said that hatred, negativity, ego and greed in society and community would prove to be damaging for tribals. “These will only make us poor, not make us rich. People become rich with thoughts and not money. When people share love and pain with others, they move forward in life…,” he said.

Later on Tuesday, the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT), one of the oldest surviving tribal political parties of the state and a member of the TIPRA Motha, said the JSM rally would create rifts within the tribal society and “vehemently opposed” it.

Veteran tribal leader and writer Srotoranjan Khisha said, “Tripura has nearly 1.75 lakh Christians in the state. They celebrate on Christmas Day. The demand to delist converted tribals from the ST list is anti-constitutional in nature. It can only be done if the Constitution is amended.”

Saying that coercing people to convert to other religions is a crime, Khisha said there is no report of forced conversion in the state. “We vehemently oppose this move and appeal to them to refrain from such activities,” he said.

Prior to this, both Opposition CPI(M) and Congress parties had condemned the JSM demand and said it was aimed at creating ethnic discord and communal divide among people.

© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd

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