Tripura Year Ender 2020: Enduring CAA protests, pandemic, political skirmishes et al
The year-end review for Tripura was a mixed bag of multiple events and, as we wrap up 2020, we take a look at some of the important events that made headlines this year.
The beginning of the year witnessed a widespread protest by the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Thousands of people including representatives of various political parties joined the anti-CAA rally organised by Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma at Khumlung in West Tripura district.
On January 15, the Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb stepped down as the BJP state’s president and, Manik Saha Deb was appointed as the new BJP president in the sate.
On February 1, former PWD Minister Badal Chowdhury was granted bail by the Tripura High Court after the police failed to file a charge sheet against him, 87 days after he was booked in the graft case amounting to 638 crore.
Another notable event of the month was when three National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) militants surrendered before the Border Security Force (BSF) on February 18.
Tripura went under lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state, in line with the decision of the Indian government.
Tripura recorded its first covid-19 positive case on April 6 and, as the months progressed, many new cases were detected in the state.
2. Following this, a package of Rs 229 crore was declared by the government for the economically weaker sections affected by the 21-day lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the coronavirus.
3. The Tripura government also decided to cut the salaries of all ministers and MLAs by 30 per cent to overcome the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the state’s economy.
1. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) demanded the ruling government for free ration and financial support to all the families in the state who are below the poverty line (BPL).
On May 28, 245 people from Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and West Bengal who were stranded in Bangladesh due to COVID-19 lockdown arrived in India. They were subsequently sent to their respective states by special trains arranged by the government.
1. On June 7, the general secretary of Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Sukhomoy Saha joined the BJP in a simple ceremony at party headquarters in Agartala.
On June 10, the Tripura government constituted a commission to probe into the appointment issues of 10,323 terminated teachers in the state.
3. It was during mid-June when the state covid tally crossed 1,000 mark.
4. BJP leader Tapan Sinha was found dead under mysterious circumstances on June 16. On the same date, Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) leader Warish Ali was killed in Gandachara area in Dhalai district.
5. On June 30, the Tripura government, which had earlier reduced the salary of all ministers and MLAs, decided to do the same for all the state government employees.
The CPI (M) raised the 16-point charter of demand which included cash grant of Rs 7500 per month for poor non-income taxpaying families, a grant of a free ration of 10-kg rice per family and, the appointment of 10,323 retrenched teachers.
The Tripura government again announced a seven-day lockdown after a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases.
3. On July 20, covid-19 tally crosses 3000-mark in Tripura.
1. In August, several suicide cases were reported from Tripura, all of whom were corona patients.
To deal with the problem of rampant suicide that were reported, the government started a call centre to help the mentally stressed students during the trying times.
Tripura CM Biplab Deb laid the foundation stone for the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the state. The SEZ will be built at an estimated cost of 1550 crore and, would offer various job opportunities to the youths.
On September 12, a journalist was attacked in the capital city for allegedly criticising the chief minister on Facebook; following this, two more journalists were attacked at many other places.
On October 1, Tripura government decided to open all tourist spots across the state, after Ministry of Home Affairs issued guidelines to open activities across different sectors.
2. Local train services also started during the month and, restrictions were eased for opening the markets and other places.
3. Organisation of Journalists reached out to the PMO office and the Press Council of India (PCI) against the controversial statement made by the chief minister of Tripura.
The issue of Bru settlement again became a focal point of discussion in November.
The Union Home Ministry had earlier this year, inked a tripartite agreement paving the way for a permanent settlement of over 30,000 displaced Brus in Tripura.
Following this, an indefinite strike was launched by Joint Movement Committee (JMC) on Bru settlement issue in Kanchanpur to oppose the resettlement.
2. The month was also important because Tripura got its first covid dedicated hospital in the capital city.
1. Educational institutes across the state opened after nine months and, classes resumed in a phased manner across Tripura.
The sacked teachers from the state started an indefinite strike demanding reappointment. The movement also saw the participation of in many opposition political leaders.
The civic body poll was deferred due to covid situation prompting the government to appoint administrators in 20 civic bodies of Tripura.