EastMojo image Credit: The joint movement committee of Mizo Convention and Nagarik Suraksha Mancha on an indefinite hunger strike at Netaji Club in Kanchanpur subdivision

Agartala: Annoyed over the decision of the Tripura government, the joint movement committee of Jampui Hill Mizo Convention and Kanchanpur Nagarik Surakha Mancha has started their indefinite hunger strike from Wednesday at Kanchanpur, around 165 km from Agartala in North Tripura district.

Speaking with reporters, Dr Zairemthaima Pachuau, chairman of the joint committee and general secretary of Jampui Hill Mizo Convention, said that the indefinite hunger strike was called to oppose the government’s decision to re-settle the displaced Bru people in Kanchanpur subdivision without having any consultation and taking the local population into confidence.

“We, the joint movement committee of Mizo Convention and Nagarik Suraksha Mancha, have organised a sit-in indefinite hunger strike here at Netaji Club in Kanchanpur subdivision. We have been demanding the re-settlement of the Bru displaced people outside the Kanchanpur subdivision and away from the boundary of Mizo inhabitants,” Pachuau said.

He also said that the government had proposed five sites in Kanchanpur subdivision for the resettlement of the Bru displaced people in Ananda Bazaar and Gachirampara Central Catchment Reserve Forest (CCRF), Manu Chailengta reserve forest, Paschim Hmunpui and Behliangchhip Mouzas which the joint movement committees opposed.

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Earlier, a total of 12 sites was 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.

The joint movement committee resorted to stage indefinite hunger strike in protest against the government’s decision of resettling without consulting and taking the locals into confidence.

“We are original inhabitants of the land, the government must accept us as most vital stakeholders and as a solution; and not see us as problems. It must create room for dialogue for successful joint problem solving of the long-standing Mizoram Bru problems,” Dr Zairemthiama Pachuau added.

The chairman also said that the CCRF is their means of water source (both rain and rivers), oxygen for the inhabitants. “We can’t accept that it will be destroyed by the Mizoram Bru settlement. We will continue the protest until the government offers dialogue, listen to our problems and take us onboard to the discussion table,” he added.

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Earlier, Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga wrote a letter to his counterpart in Tripura, Biplab Kumar Deb, expressing his concern over the tension prevailing centering the re-settlement of the Bru displaced people in Kanchanpur subdivision.

However, reacting to the letter, Deb said that his cabinet ministers will decide the internal matters of the state. “Chief ministers of other states cannot decide on the internal matters of a state; however, everyone has a right to send letters,” Deb 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.

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