Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb addressing a press conference in Agartala on Friday

Agartala: The Tripura government would take at least six months to resettle the Bru people living in relief camps for the last 23 years in the state, said chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb in Agartala on Friday, a day after signing of the quadripartite agreement between the governments of Tripura and Mizoram, the Centre and different organisations of the Bru community.

Speaking at a press conference at Agartala civil secretariat, Deb said that the 23-year-old long pending issue of the internally-displaced people living in refugee camps in North Tripura has finally been solved.

He also expressed his gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah for solving the decades-old issue of the Bru people.

“Many initiatives were taken to send back the Bru community into Mizoram but not more than 350 families were sent till date. Even the previous government did not make efforts to settle them down. But this time the Centre took the initiative and stopped the ration supply in the camps,” Deb said.

A delegation had visited the spot where the Bru people had a sit-in demonstration to hold talks with them and the ration supply was also resumed in the camps.

“According to the agreement signed, it was decided that those willing to go back to Mizoram can go and the rest can stay in Tripura with the same package. They have to stay in either of the two places,” Deb added.

He also said to settle down the 34,000 people in Tripura, a good amount of land would be required and that would take at least three months of time.

“The forest land has to be diverted and the amount required to do so will be provided by the Centre as we have demanded. The revenue department has been asked to identify the land and prepare the sheet and once the forest land is being diverted we can allocate the plot to the families accordingly,” Deb added.

He also said that it is a historic day as no other state has welcomed people from other states providing the same facilities to them. They people would share the rights and facilities with the rus in Tripura.

“Indian people living within their own country can never be called refugees. Around 34,000 people comprising 5,400 families are living here. The identification will be done as per the norms,” Deb added.

When asked if they would get the right to vote in the ADC elections, the chief minister said, “If the voter identity cards are prepared before the ADC elections then they will get the rights to vote and they would discuss the matter with the ADC council.”

Discussion over resettlement of non-tribal displaced people in Tripura was also held with the Union home minister and the Centre has promised to look into the matter so that they can return to their homes.

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