Bru people in a relief camp in Tripura Credit: File mage

Agartala: Amidst the ongoing protest by the Mizo Convention and Nagarik Suraksha Mancha, Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Friday wrote a letter to Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb requesting him to re-consider and cancel the proposed re-settlement of displaced Brus in Kanchanpur sub-division in North Tripura district.

The letter addressed to the Tripura chief minister read, “I am given to understand that there is a proposal for resettlement of a good number of displaced Brus residing in Tripura at Mizo-inhabited Zampui Hills and surrounding areas under Kanchanpur Sub-Division in North Tripura.”

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The letter also cited that there has been ethnic tension and upheaval between Mizos and Brus, both in Mizoram and Tripura, and any strain between the two communities in Tripura will no doubt have repercussions in Mizoram and vice versa, which could defeat the very purpose and spirit of the agreement signed between representatives of the Bru community, chairman TIPRA, chief secretary of Tripura, Mizoram, joint secretary of ministry of home affairs on January 16.

The letter addressed to Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb by Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Friday

Zoramthanga urged to Deb reconsider and cancel the proposal for resettlement of displaced Brus at the traditional habitat of Mizos at Jampui Hills and surrounding areas in North Tripura district.

“…mention may also be made of the sad fact that Mizos in four villages of Sakhan Hills had fled their traditional villages due to tensions with Brus displaced from Mizoram, back in 1998. In view of the above, inter alia, I would posit that re-consideration and cancellation of the proposed resettlement of displaced Brus amidst Mizo traditional settlers of Jampui hill area and arrangement of other appropriate locations is inevitable if the historic Agreement signed on 16.1.2020 is to be successfully implemented in letter and spirit,” the letter read.

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Meanwhile, the Mizo Convention of Jampui Hills, an organisation of Mizo community people living in the Jampui Hills, on Friday protested Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura district demanding the resettlement of Bru people outside North Tripura district.

Speaking with reporters, general secretary of the organisation, Dr Zairemthiama Pachuau, said, “We do not have enough land and forest resources to accommodate the Bru population.”

“The sub-divisional magistrate of Kanchanpur has assured that no site visit would be done in any of the proposed sites at Kanchanpur subdivision. However, they have visit Ananda Bazar and Central Catchment Reserve Forest (CCRF). The North Tripura district magistrate has called for an all stakeholders meeting on June 3,” Pachuau said.

The displaced Bru people came to Tripura in 1997 following ethnic clashes in Mizoram and since then they have been living in relief camps in the state.

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.

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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.

A total of 12 sites were proposed for the resettlement of Bru people in Tripura. Among these, five are in North Tripura district, one in Unakoti, three in Dhalai and one each in Khowai, West Tripura and Sepahijala districts.

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