Tripura protest: Students block rail tracks, roads over Kokborok script issue

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In tribal areas of Tripura, train services and vehicular movement were severely impacted on Monday due to an “indefinite” rail-road blockade by student bodies over the Kokborok script issue.

The Tipra Indigenous Students’ Federation (TISF), Tipra Motha’s student wing declared an indefinite road and rail blockade from February 12 to press for the demand that students be allowed to write their Kokborok language papers in Roman script in the upcoming class 10 and 12 state board examinations. Tipra Motha is the main opposition party of Tripura.

The move was supported by the Twipra Students’ Federation.

Kokborok is an indigenous language spoken by nearly 24 per cent people of Tripura. It does not have a script.

Generally, students write papers for the Kokborok language in the Bengali script. 

Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) has said that the examinees will have to write Kokborok paper in Bengali script in the exams next month, as it would be difficult for teachers to evaluate answer papers written in Roman script.

“Movement on rail tracks, national highways and state highways in tribal regions remained suspended since morning, due to the blockades put up at several locations,” a senior police officer said, as per a PTI report.

“Blockades were erected at many places in West Tripura district. However, normal life was largely unaffected in Agartala Municipal Corporation areas (AMC),” district magistrate (West Tripura), Visha Kumar was quoted by PTI.

No untoward incident was reported during the agitation. 

Due to the protests, at the Tripura Central University, all undergraduate and postgraduate examinations scheduled for Monday and onwards were suspended.

Tipra Motha supremo Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma claimed that he got assurance from the “highest level” in Delhi that the students will be allowed to write Kokborok in their choice of script.

“I am in Delhi as the talks with the highest level are going on… I know the protest erupted in the entire Tripura over the script issue. I urge all of you to remain calm because violence will earn a bad name for us,” he said in a video message, as per the report.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 12 Feb 2024, 07:08 PM IST

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