Indefinite shut down in Kanchanpur against resettlement of 6000 Bru families


Agartala: Normal life was paralysed in Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura district in the indefinite shut down against the government”s decision to rehabiliatate thousands of displaced Brus from neighbouring Mizoram.

Sub-divisional police officer Bikramjit Sukladas said no untoward incident was reported from any part of Kanchanpur sub-division during the shut down called by Joint Movement Committee (JMC).

Vehicles did not ply on the roads, while markets and business establishments remained closed and attendance in government offices was thin.

Strike supporters, including women and children organised protest rallies and demonstrations in front of government offices and markets.

The Tripura government has decided to settle around 6,000 displaced Bru families in Kanchanpur sub-division, an official said.

The JMC, comprising Nagarik Surakhsa Mancha and Mizo Convention of the sub-division, has organised a series of protests demanding that the Brus be resettled in all the eight districts of Tripura.

JMC chairman Zairemthiama Pachuau told newsmen that the North Tripura district magistrate had assured that 1.500 families would be settled in the area.

“But now the government is trying to settle 6,000 families. If they go ahead with this, the entire sub-division will be affected environmentally, ecologicaly, socially and demographically which is not acceptable,” he said.

The Bru issue had started in September, 1997 following demands of a separate autonomous district council by carving out areas of western Mizoram adjoining Bangladesh and Tripura.

About 30,000 Bru tribals had then fled Mizoram due to the ethnic tension there and took shelter in refugee camps in Tripura.

The first attempt to repatriate the Brus was made in November 2009 by the Centre along with the governments of Tripura and Mizoram. But it met with little success.

The agreement signed in 2018 to send back the Bru refugees to Mizoram could not be implemented due to their protests. The Centre signed a fresh agreement in January 2020 according to which the Brus will not be forced to returned.

The Centre had sanctioned Rs 600 crore as rehabilitation package for the displaced Brus as a final solution to the vexed problem after the agreement.

The official said 15 places have been selected for rehabilitation of the Brus in North Tripura, Dhalai, Unakoti, Sipahijala and Khowai districts on September 19 after a series of discussions with Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath, Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar and revenue officials.

Bruno Msha, the general secretary of Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF), in a letter to Tripura chief secretary Manoj Kumar last week has demanded issuance of ST and permanent residence certificates for the Brus. PTI