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Tripura: 15 protestors detained, road & rail blockade for ‘Roman script in Kokborok’

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Agartala: At least 15 tribal protestors were detained on Monday morning in front of Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha’s residence in the city for unauthorised assembly and raising a slogan seeking Roman script for Kokborok language in the upcoming board exams of Madhyamik and HS of Kokborok language, spoken by about 10 lakh tribal population of Tripura, police said here.

“A group of youths suddenly assembled near CM’s house at Ganaraj Chowmuhani and raised a violent slogan. They were advised to leave the spot, but they didn’t rather attempt to create chaos; accordingly, police detained them. The administration has made all arrangements to maintain peace and keep the situation in order, but if anybody tries to create tension, the law will take its course,” said DIG (Crime, Intelligence, and Security) Krishnendu Chakravertty.

According to the report, protestors raised road blockades in as many as 33 locations in eight districts, while trains were stopped in three spots as part of their scheduled road and rail blockade program for an indefinite period to press for the demand. More than 10,000 men in uniform deployed on the road and hilly locations of railway lines, but no untoward incident has been reported yet.

Vehicle movement on National Highways (Assam-Agartala, Kailashahar-Khowai, Khowai-Agartala, and Agartala-Sabroom) routes and railways in the state was severely disrupted on Monday following an indefinite road and rail blockade of opposition TIPRA Motha’s students’ wing Tripura Indigenous Students Federation (TISF) with the support of several other organizations.

Initially, the Tripura Board of Secondary Board of Education declined to allow Roman script for Kokborok exams, but later, it shifted the stand and allowed both Bengali and Roman after a group of tribal BJP leaders met Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha on Sunday night. However, TISF and Motha leaders have been pressing for black-and-white assurance.

The CM appealed to withdraw the protest and engage in a dialogue with the state government to address the issue, and he assured the students they would not face any trouble. The BJP State Secretary, Devid Debbarma, said the CM has already stated the issue in the last Assembly session and sent a letter to CBSE requesting to allow both Bengali and Roman script for Kokborok, and in the case of TBSE, it has already been clarified.

“We are confused; why is this blockade creating inconvenience for the common people?” Devid asked.

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