Agartala: Amid lockdown, the process for the settlement of Bru displaced people continues in Tripura. However, two social organisations, Mizo Convention and Nagarik Suraksha Mancha, have threatened to call an indefinite ‘bandh’ and file a public interest litigation (PIL) against the plans to settle Brus in the Kanchanpur subdivision in North Tripura district.
The Tripura government has proposed 12 locations across the state to permanently settle displaced Bru people, who are currently living in six relief camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivisions since their arrival in 1997.
The Mizo convention and Nagarik Suraksha Mancha started protesting in Manu-Chailengta area when a government team arrived to inspect the proposed for resettlement on Sunday.
Speaking with reporters, Nagarik Suraksha Mancha president Ranjit Nath said that as per the latest settlement plan over 60 per cent of the Bru population would be settled in Kanchanpur sub-division and that would affect the lives of the local population.
“We have been demanding they return to Mizoram for years and we stand by it. As per the latest plan, 60 per cent of Bru population would be settled here in this area. The apathy of hundreds of Bengali and Mizo people who have been evicted since their arrival here was never addressed”, Nath said.
As per current resettlement plan, five locations have been selected in North Tripura, three locations in Dhalai district and one site each of West, Sephaijala and Khowai districts.
Mizo convention general secretary, Dr Zairemchiama Phachuau said that Bru settlement in Kanchanpur would affect the lives of others living in the area.
“The government is favouring Bru migrants. The protest was called off after the sub-division magistrate assured to stop site inspection until further instruction from the government”, Phachuau said.
Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) general secretary Bruno Msha said the protest by the two social bodies is unfortunate and against human rights.
“Nagarik Suraksha Mancha and Mizo Convention supporters are trying to politicalize the issue. We have been living here for more than two decades peacefully”, Msha said.
Kanchanpur Sub-division magistrate Chandni Chandran said she has written a letter to the revenue secretary informing about the protests and sought advice for the next course of action.
“I have talked with the agitators and have explained our position. I have also assured them that visits to the proposed site would not continue until further instructions are received from the government”, Chandran said.
Earlier on January 16, a quadripartite agreement was signed between the government of Tripura and Mizoram, Centre and the Bru leaders for settling over 36,000 displaced people in Tripura permanently.
After signing the agreement, Union home minister Amit Shah had announced a 40×30 ft plot to build a house, Rs 4 lakh as fixed deposit, financial aid of Rs 5,000 per month along with free ration supply for the next two years to all the Bru families. To build houses, an amount of Rs 1.5 lakh will also be provided to every family.