Other States

Tripura BJP, Left come together in opposing Bru rehab

Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the restive northern Tripura have come on the same page to oppose largescale resettlement of Bru refugees from adjoining Mizoram.

Non-Brus had on November 16 called an indefinite shutdown in Kanchanpur Subdivision of North Tripura district against the Tripura government’s alleged move to resettle some 5,200 of an estimated 6,500 Bru families in seven places of the subdivision.

School students joined the protests on Thursday, the fourth day of the shutdown, defying the local administration’s order prohibiting assembly of five or more people in public places.

The Joint Movement Committee (JMC) comprising local Bengalis, Mizos and others has been spearheading the “apolitical” resistance against largescale resettlement of the Brus, more than 40,000 of whom escaped ethnic violence in Mizoram since 1997.

The movement has taken a political turn with Kanchanpur units of the BJP and the CPI(M) throwing their weight behind the JMC. The CPI(M) unit is led by ex-member of district council Lalit Debnath while zonal president Gautam Ray is heading the BJP unit.

Limited space’

“We are not against resettlement of the Brus. We have been insisting that our areas have space to accommodate at most 500 refugee families but the government wants to dump 5,000-6,000 families on us instead of distributing them across Tripura, as was initially resolved,” said JMC convener Sushanta Bikash Barua.

He said the strike would continue if the government stuck to its “remote-controlled” and “politically-motivated” decision by robbing the locals of their rights.

Shashanka Das, chairman of BJP’s Dasda Block unit, said the local members would quit the party if the BJP-led government was bent upon disregarding the concerns of the local people.

Dasda has been the flashpoint of the conflict between the locals and the refugees following the assault on a water supply employee identified as Subal Dey allegedly by the Bru refugees. Bru organisations have denied attacking the man who was undergoing treatment in district headquarters Dharmanagar.

Kanchanpur’s Sub-divisional Magistrate Chandni Chandran said the situation was being monitored to avoid escalation of tension. “We have imposed restrictions and an inquiry on the assault has been ordered,” she said.

Resettlement on: CM

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said that his government was committed to the resettlement of the Brus according to the January agreement in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

“The rehabilitation process got delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic but we have approached the Centre for an extension,” he said.

Tripura’s royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, who played a major role in the Bru resettlement agreement, hoped the State government would honour the commitment of the Centre on the Bru people.

Mr. Debbarma has been claiming the Brus were originally from Tripura. “They relocated to Mizoram after being displaced by a Tripura dam project but had to return as refugees,” he said.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 8:21:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tripura-bjp-left-come-together-in-opposing-bru-rehab/article33131325.ece

Next Story