Agartala, October 15 (IANS): Life was crippled in the tribal dominated areas of Tripura as the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), the junior ally of ruling BJP, observed a 24-hour shutdown in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas on Thursday in support of its demand for a separate state, officials said.
Police said that no major incident took place in the entire TTAADC regions even as several hundred IPFT picketers were arrested from different places.
According to police, most government offices, financial institutions including banks, shops and markets were closed and the vehicles remained off the roads.
Due to the security reasons and in view of the shutdown, the Northeast Frontier Railways had suspended operation of all kinds of trains in Tripura on Thursday.
IPFT Assistant General Secretary and party spokesman Mangal Debbarma said that the shutdown was spontaneous and peaceful and no untoward incident had occurred.
The IPFT has been agitating since 2009 for creation of a separate state by upgrading the TTAADC, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura's 10,491 sq km area which is home to over 12,16,000 people, 90 per cent of whom are tribals.
Most political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, Congress and even the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura, have rejected the IPFT's separate state demand, saying it was not practical to divide the small state like Tripura.
The IPFT, a tribal-based party, forged an alliance with the BJP before the February 2018 Assembly polls and secured eight seats in the 60-member Assembly.
IPFT President Narendra Chandra Debbarma and General Secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia are the Cabinet Ministers in the 8-member council of ministry headed by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
Meanwhile, a five-member delegation of IPFT led by party General Secretary and Forest Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia left here on Wednesday to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP President JP Nadda and other central ministers and leaders to pursue their demands.
The IPFT's demands include, upgrading the TTAADC as a full fledged state, settlement of 35,000 Reang tribal refugees, sheltered in Tripura for the past 23 years and early conduct of the TTAADC elections.