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CPI(M) CLAIMS TRIBAL MAN DIED OF STARVATION, TRIPURA GOVT DENIES CHARGE!

Accusing the Tripura government of miserably failing in rural development, the opposition CPI(M) Thursday claimed that people, especially from tribal communities, are facing hunger and starvation in vast tracts of land in hilly terrains. The allegations were, however, brushed aside by Deputy Chief Minister and senior tribal leader Jishnu Debbarman.

Speaking to reporters here, Radhacharan Debbarma, the state secretariat member of the CPI(M), claimed that tribal people at East Govindabari village of Dhalai district, 110 Km from here, face a severe crisis of jobs due to the breakdown of unskilled labour under MGNREGA. It has caused a shortage of job, food and a tribal man has died due to starvation there, Radhacharan claimed.

“We came to know that Japanda Tripura, a person living in East Gobindabari ADC village died due to starvation on January 18. Six of us visited his family,” claimed Radhacharan, who is also the chief executive member of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).

“They told us that there is no work in government schemes like NREGA. Japanda Tripura had nothing to eat for four days before he passed away,” he told reporters.

The delegation comprised of TTAADC executive member Joybahadur Jamatiya, former Scheduled Caste Welfare minister Ratan Bhowmik, MLA Mubassar Ali, MLA Jashbir Tripura among others.

Japanda Tripura’s family comprises of eight members, including his son, daughter-in-law and their five children.

Earlier in June last year, Lok Sabha MP Jitendra Chaudhury flagged the crisis of food in rural Tripura and said hundreds of tribal people have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, crossing the international border, in search of work and food.

Radhacharan claimed that Japanda’s family received a NREGA wage of Rs. 1,500 on December 10 last year.

“Tribal families in Tripura mostly survive on forest produce. They also do some shifting cultivation and odd jobs. But out of the money they received as NREGA wages, they used some to pay off debts and bought daily necessities with the rest. The supplies ran out before long and Japanda Tripura died out of starvation,” he claimed.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Dhalai district Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Saradindu Riyang said he had no reports of any starvation death in the district in the last few months. “I don’t have any report of starvation death in Dhalai district recently”, the official said.

However, he informed that he has come to know about Japanda Tripura’s death and informed that he has summoned a report from the Medical Officer in-charge on the subject. “I shall have the report soon. I shall be able to comment further after I inspect the report,” Riyang said.