Other States

Non-Brus set limit for refugee resettlement in Tripura

Bru women bring vegetables from a weekly market near the Naisingpara refugee camp in Kanchanpur sub division in Tripura. File

Bru women bring vegetables from a weekly market near the Naisingpara refugee camp in Kanchanpur sub division in Tripura. File   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

Non-Brus of Tripura have proposed six places for settling the displaced Brus from Mizoram and set a limit for the number of families to be accommodated in two subdivisions that have borne the brunt of the 23-year-old refugee crisis.

Also read: 34,000 Bru refugees to be settled in Tripura

Members of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC) comprising the Bengali, Mizo and other indigenous communities of Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivisions of North Tripura district had on July 21 submitted a memorandum to the State government with proposals they said would be a win-win solution for all stakeholders.

The memorandum was submitted during a conference with the State’s Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest A. Rastogi via video from district headquarters Dharmanagar.

“We told the government that the locals are not against the settlement of Brus from adjoining Mizoram but they just cannot be settled at random. We have identified six places and proposed that 500 families at most be settled in these places,” JMC convener Susanta Bikash Barua told The Hindu.

Also read: Amid lockdown, Tripura groups protest Bru settlement

These places are Bandarima-Pushporampara, Sakhan Hills, Chaigarhpur, Subalbari, Kalarambari-Bandarima in Kanchanpur subdivision, and Kukinala in Panisagar subdivision. The Brus are distributed among seven relief camps in these two subdivisions.

The JMC and other groups have been maintaining that the Brus were difficult to coexist with.

JMC chairman Zairemthiama Pachuau said the government was advised to include at least for members of the committee in the monitoring team during the Bru settlement process in order to ensure transparency.

Also read: Indefinite strike call in Tripura against Bru refugee settlement

The Bru leaders, however, put the onus on the State government to honour a quadripartite agreement in January for resettling more than 6,500 families in clusters of at least 500 families in suitable areas.

“The proposal of limiting the number of families in Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivisions does not conform to what has been agreed upon. The government had identified 16 places of which nine, including two of the existing relief camps, are acceptable,” said Bru community leader T. Laldingliana.

The areas proposed by the JMC and those sought by the Bru organisations do not match.

“We are trying to find a way out of the complication,” said a district official involved in the resettlement process.

More than 40,000 Brus, also called Reangs, have been living in relief camps in Tripura since 1997 after escaping ethnic violence in Mizoram. About 7,000 refugees returned to Mizoram in nine phases of repatriation till November 30, 2019.

But their resettlement in Tripura ran into rough weather with non-Brus maintaining the State does not have enough space and resources to accommodate them.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 6:56:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/non-brus-set-limit-for-refugee-resettlement-in-tripura/article32174695.ece

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