A resettlement decision taken on January 16 to end the 22-year-old issue of the displaced Bru tribal people has triggered resentment among those who had accepted the earlier rehabilitation package and returned to Mizoram from where they had been displaced.
In 1997, more than 40,000 Brus had fled ethnic violence in Mizoram and taken shelter in the Kanchanpur sub-division of the adjoining State of Tripura. Some of them returned to Mizoram after accepting rehabilitation packages in the nine phases of repatriation till 2018.
But the latest agreement allowing the Brus, who refused to vacate the relief camps, to permanently settle in Tripura has made those who returned to Mizoram feel discriminated against.
The quadripartite agreement signed by the Centre, the governments of Tripura and Mizoram and various Bru refugee organisations entail a housing plot in Tripura for each displaced family in addition to ₹4 lakh as a fixed deposit, ₹5,000 per month for two years, free rations for two years and ₹1.5 lakh to build houses.
“The new agreement would not make any Bru family want to go to Tripura because we feel safe here. But there is disparity between the package offered to Brus repatriated to Mizoram and those who would be permanently settled in Tripura after refusing to be repatriated,” said Elvis Chorkhy, chairman of the Bru Coordination Committee, representing the Brus of Mizoram.
The government, he said, should ensure that the repatriated Bru families receive a rehabilitation package equivalent to the one for settlement in Tripura.
Mr. Chorkhy said that each of the 6,000 repatriated Brus received ₹80,000 on their return to Mizoram and were entitled to free rations for a year.