Proposed BSF firing range in fresh row

A proposed firing range for the Border Security Force (BSF) has become the trigger for unrest in northern Tripura’s Kanchanpur Subdivision over the rehabilitation of Bru tribal people displaced from adjoining Mizoram.

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has also waded into the standoff by pointing out to his Tripura counterpart that settling the Brus in Mizo-inhabited areas of Tripura would have “repercussions in Mizoram” and defeat the very purpose of the January 16 rehabilitation agreement.

On May 29, members of Nagarik Suraksha Mancha – a Bengali organisation – prevented a government team from going to the Manu-Chailengta area for surveying 15 hectares of land to be diverted for the proposed largest firing range for paramilitary forces in the Northeast.

“Certain groups don’t want the BSF firing range that would have brought in associated development and blocked a corridor for extremists. We cannot let the Brus be settled until our people victimised over the years and forced to live in relief camps locally are given back their lands,” said Ranjit Nath, the president of the Mancha.

The Mancha has formed the Joint Movement Committee with the Tripura Mizo Convention, the organisation representing the Mizo tribe in Jampui Hills within the subdivision. The Convention leaders said their protest will continue till the government looks beyond their area for the rehabilitation of some 35,000 Bru refugees across seven relief camps.

Leaders of the Joint Movement Committee were called by North Tripura District Magistrate Raval H. Kumar on Wednesday. But the meeting has been postponed after a person at Naisingpara tested positive for COVID-19.

The All India Chakma Social Forum has asked Mr. Zoramthanga not to disturb the delicate communal harmony in Tripura.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 5:59:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/proposed-bsf-firing-range-in-fresh-row/article31734432.ece

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