Pro-Bengali political party Amra Bangali(AMB) on January 20th, 2020 staged a sit-in demonstration in North Tripura’s Kanchanpur demanding for a separate state– ‘Bangalistan’ “to save the Bengalis” subjected to “torture”.
The demand came in the backdrop of the final settlement of the 23-year-old Bru-Reang refugee crisis as the Centre signed an agreement with Tripura, Mizoram and representatives from the community in New Delhi. Now, the Bru-Reang refugees will be permanently settled in Tripura.
The AMB who vehemently opposed the settlement of the “refugees” claimed that most of the Bengalis in Tripura “became victims of insurgency” and that they were “relentlessly tortured by the Bru refugees during their stay in Tripura”.
It may be mentioned that the demand for “Bangalistan” dates back to some years back when a few radical elements of AMB suggested re-organization of the territory of Bengal with likeminded people “who have respect for Bengali language”.
Sparked off by the “Bongal Kheda” movement of the 1950s and 1960s which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of Bengali Hindus from the Brahmaputra valley in Assam, the AMB came to limelight during the mid-80s when it won some gram panchayat seats in the border districts.
The AMB is involved in various movements and protests including those against the Darjeeling Gorkhas calling for the creation of ‘Gorkhaland’. The party has been working for the “restoration and development of Bengali language and culture”.
Photo Credit: TIME8