LOOKEAST REPORT | FOR ensuring the rights of self–determination of the indigenous Jumma peoples, it is urgent to transfer political, administrative and economic powers and functions to the CHT Regional Council and three Hill District Councils, says PCJSS representative Ms. Augustina Chakma at the 21st session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues….
The Neermahal was built by the state’s Manikya monarchs on the model of the Udaipur Lake Palace in Rajasthan called Jal Mahal.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice AK Qureshi rejected the petition by royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya and his mother Bibhu Kumari Devi and observed that the palace belongs to the state government.
Pradyot in a social media post said he would not “compromise” and appeal to the Supreme Court.
An angry Pradyot said in his Facebook Live post.
Please watch my video and find out why we feel that injustice has been done to our family on the Neer Mahal issue – If you watch this video you will understand the pain that we have to produce documents to prove even our own land is ours while people enter our state without valid papers daily
Posted by Pradyot Bikram Manikya DebBarma on Tuesday, 7 January 2020
“Neermahal — I challenge the government to provide one Legal document to suggest that my father ‘gifted’ it (Neermahal) to them, also I am glad that finally, the state government has admitted that no money was ever paid for Neermahal to my father or my family. I will challenge the matter in the Supreme Court but I must ask one question to all if the erstwhile royal family cannot protect their private property then what hope does a poor person have. Crores have been spent on legal cases, my father is no longer with me and my mother is 75 years old. Justice delayed is justice denied. I will not compromise”.
The royal summer resort was constructed by British company Martin and Burn in nine years. The red and white palace had been described as the crown jewel of Tripura’s 500–year–old Manikya dynasty
Sources close to Pradyot Kishore Manikya say the royal scion may appeal against the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court.
Located in the beautiful Rudrasagar Lake, Tripura’s ‘Neermahal’, was built by Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur.
Commissioned in 1930, the royal summer resort was constructed by British company Martin and Burn in nine years.
The red and white palace had been described as the crown jewel of Tripura’s 500–year–old Manikya dynasty rule and is a great tourist attraction.
The property was handed over to state government by the then royal scion Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya Debbarma in 1974 for maintenance after which it was opened to the public.
In 2005, his wife Bibhu Kumari Devi and son Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma moved the court claiming they only granted “permissive possession” of the property.
Neermahal is one of the finest examples of architectural marvel located in the middle of Rudrasagar lake.#Neermahal is a picturesque, fairytale, royal mansion built in 1930 A.D. It attracts us by its pristine beauty & reminds us of the glorious heritage of Tripura.
Do visit. pic.twitter.com/DKPuvCJORk
— Biplab Kumar Deb (@BjpBiplab) December 5, 2019
ln 2015, a civil judge’s court ruled in favour of the royals and ordered the state government to hand back the property to the royal family. However, the government challenged the decision in the High Court.
Chief Justice AK Qureshi and Justice Arindam Lodh, however, rejected the royal plea this week.
The government says all doubts about government ownership of Neermahal has now been settled.
The state government organises a festival at Neermahal every year. ■