Agartala, February 11, 2024: The Tripura Student Federation (TSF) has declared an indefinite strike and road blockade, scheduled to commence on Monday, February 12. Their demand centers around the right to write Kokborok language answer sheets in the Roman script.
This issue has been a longstanding concern for the TSF, and it recently gained prominence during the state assembly session, where opposition parties and student organizations raised their voices. Opposition leader Animesh Debbarma even hinted at potential law and order implications if the demand remained unaddressed.
On Sunday, the TSF escalated their protest by announcing a more extensive agitation. This includes blocking national highways and railways indefinitely until their demand is met. The upcoming Higher Secondary and Secondary Examinations, conducted by the Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE), are at the heart of this dispute. Over 5,000 tribal students are expected to appear for these exams, and they seek the option to write their Kokborok language answers in Roman script, rather than Bengali.
The TBSE had initially indicated that both Bengali and English scripts would be allowed for Kokborok language papers. However, a subsequent decision restricted it to only Bengali. The TSF’s road and rail blockade will persist until they receive a written assurance from Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb that Roman script will be permitted for Kokborok language in the board examinations.
During this protest, essential services such as wedding cars, milk vans, ambulances, and fire engines will be exempt. Additionally, the TSF has pledged support for the agitation launched by the TIPRA Motha on January 12.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has expressed his commitment to examining the matter and finding a resolution regarding the use of Roman script for Kokborok language answer sheets.