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Veteran tribal leader dead

A  Correspondent
Agartala, June 11, 2010: One of prominent tribal political leaders of northeast India, writer and journalist Shyamacharan Tripura breathed his last at his home in Agartala Friday morning. He was 80.

The demise of the leader brings to an end his almost five decade old association with the Tripura Upajati Juba Samity (TUJS), now the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) - the main tribal party in Tripura. He was a regular contributor to daily newspapers and periodicals and had special interest to write pieces on humor, food habit and unique customs of the tribal society which made him more popular in cross sections of society.

Shyamacharan Tripura was suffering from various ailments over past one year and was completely bed ridden in recent weeks. Hundreds of people from different walks of life and trade, politicians and journalists paid respect to the leader. Governor, Chief Minister, Ministers, chiefs of political parties and distinguished citizens sent their condolences

The man who was always seen beaming missed a ministerial berth when his party in alliance with the Congress won the elections in 1988 for losing his candidature from his home Manu constituency in North Tripura. However he was made Vice Chairman of the state planning commission which he held for five years.

Tripura again could not make it to the assembly in the last polls in 2008 which routed his party. But he remained the soul of the INPT and continued to carry weight in political as well as social circles.

He was editor of party's bilingual mouthpiece Chinikok. He left behind two sons and two daughters. His eldest son in law Rabindra Debbarma is a former minister and general secretary of the INPT.