IPFT wants law to scrap ST status of tribal women marrying non-tribals

IPFT wants law to scrap ST status of tribal women marrying non-tribals

A breakaway faction of the ruling Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) in Tripura on Monday demanded enactment of a law to scrap ST status of tribal women who marry non-ST men. "A large number of tribal women of Tripura are marrying non-tribal men and in Khowai district, the figure is over 50 percent," said IPFT (Tipraha group) president Aghore Debbarma.

"Indigenous communities are already minority in Tripura. We demand that a law be passed in winter session of the Tripura Assembly which will strip such women of their ST status. It is required to safeguard our ethnic identity," Debbarma told a press conference. The winter session of the assembly begins from November 29.

The IPFT (Tipraha), a tribal party, took the cue from the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) of Meghalaya, which in July had passed a bill to scrap scheduled tribe status of tribal women who marry non-ST men. The bill also mentioned that children of Khasi women marrying outside their tribes would also be termed non-Khasi.

The party's vice-president Budhu Debbarma claimed that non-tribal youths were grabbing licenses, permits and jobs meant for tribals in the name of their ST wives. The party also opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 saying it would put at risk their tribal identity and demanded revision of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Tripura to identify illegal infiltrators.

Earlier, the ruling IPFT has also raised a case for a revision of NRC to safeguard the state's demography, despite Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb's assertion that there is no need for it. The Tipraha group, which is strong campaigner of separate Tipraland state for tribals, said it would organize a dharna in Delhi next month, Debbarma said.

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Pratidin Time