Agartala: Over a week after an indefinite road blockade was called by the Brus, it was finally withdrawn after an assurance of resumption of ration supply was given by the Tripura government in Agartala on Thursday.
After meeting the agitators on Thursday, a delegation led by deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma announced that ration supply will resume from Friday and will continue till November 30.
Speaking with agitators, Dev Varma said, “It has been more than 22 years since you people came here but so far no solution has come out. But now, the BJP government wants to solve this repatriation issue in a peaceful way and in a good manner. We feel that you people have a good future in a dignified repatriation and settlement in Mizoram,” he said.
“We have good news for you. The state government has decided to provide ration in the Bru camps from Friday and the food will be supplied till November 30,” ministerial delegation announced.
He also invited the Bru leaders for a dialogue in Agartala to decide on a formula for their return.
The delegation of ministers and MPs headed by the deputy chief minister included education minister Ratan Lal Nath, social welfare minister Shantana Chakma, tribal welfare minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia, Tripura West MP Pratima Bhowik and Tripura East MP Rebati Tripura.
The delegation met the Brus at the office of the Laxmipur Special Police Officer (SPO) where the North Tripura DM Reval H Kumar, sub-divisional magistrate Abhedananda Baidya and North Tripura SP Bhanupada Chakraborty were also present.
Meanwhile, speaking with reporters, Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) general secretary Bruno Msha said, “Today we held a meeting with the delegation of state government. They stated that they will resume rations for the Brus. We are very happy with the decision. After that, they requested us to withdraw the road blockade and accordingly, we have withdrawn it,” he said.
However, Msha feels that resumption of cash dole and ration supply is not the solution and the Mizoram government will have to create a conducive atmosphere for repatriation.
“By getting the ration up to November 30 will not be the solution. So, there must be a dialogue and meeting again and I think the problem could be sorted out through talks with the Mizoram government. Today, a team of Bru leaders started their journey for New Delhi to meet Union home minister Amit Shah and to rework the repatriation agreement signed in June last year,” Msha added.
Earlier, the Union ministry of home affairs had stopped the supply of rations in the Bru camps from October 1 while the repatriation process was underway. Following this, the Brus had imposed an indefinite road blockade from Dasda to Anandabazar road from October 31.
Over 35,000 Bru people had fled Mizoram following a clash in 1997 in between two groups and since then many attempts to repatriate them have been made but all in vain.