Members of Joint movement Committee protesting in Panisagar against Brus resettlement

Agartala: The Joint Movement Committee (JMC), a local ethnic organisation, called off the indefinite strike against the resettlement of displaced Bru migrants in Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura district, after the government assured them of considering their demands.

The JMC has been protesting against the resettlement of Bru families in Kanchanpur sub-division since last Monday. The protests turned violent on Saturday during the national highway blockade, which claimed two lives including a protestor Srikanta Das and fireman Biswajit Debbarma.

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Speaking with reporters, Sushanta Bikash Barua, convener of the JMC, said that on Monday a meeting with the public representatives and officials from the state administration was held to discuss on their demands.

“They have listened to our demands, and they have said that they would consider them. We had demanded a compensation amount of Rs 20 lakh for the supporter who was killed in police firing and a government job to his kin, treatment for those who were injured and financial assistance to those who suffered loss during the clash,” Barua said.

He also said if the state government did not meet the demands, the protests would start again.

“The main demand was that all 32,000 Brus should be settled equally in other parts of the state as proposed by the state earlier. The administration has assured that they would be equally distributed in six districts of the state and no pressure would be exerted in a single place”, Barua added.

The local MLA, Bhagaban Das had chaired two meetings with the leaders of the JMC and told reporters that the meeting was concluded in a positive note.

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Earlier, on Monday the Mizo Tripura Kshatriya Samaj, Bru Motha, Jamatia Hoda, Noatia Hoda, Bru Socio-Cultural Organization, Tripura Chubalal Buthu – all tribal customary social organisations, accused the state government of failure in handling the Bru resettlement issue properly.

Other tribal organisations including, the Mizo Peoples Convention (Manipur) have blamed the government and said, “The government should have listened to demands placed forth by local people through democratic means. Instead, they chose to turn a deaf ear to them”, a press statement reads.

The ruling ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), assistant general secretary Mangal Debbarma, said efforts were being made to disrupt peace in Tripura. The Joint Movement Committee on displaced Bru rehabilitation has heated up the situation.

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He blamed the Joint Movement Committee for the deaths of fireman Biswajit Debbarma and carpenter Srikanth Das in Panisagar on Saturday.

“The state government should immediately arrest the leaders of the committee and provide exemplary punishment. The IPFT would not remain silent unless the JMC leaders are arrested immediately,” Mangal said.

The state government on Saturday announced a magisterial-level inquiry to be conducted by the North district magistrate Nagesh Kumar B and submit the report ‘within one month’. A sum of Rs 5 lakh would also be provided to the family of the deceased, the government said.

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