Agartala: In an effort to soften official safeguard for permanent resident status in Tripura, the Bru migrants from Mizoram have demanded the government to issue them Schedule Tribe (ST) certificates and permanent resident of Tripura certificates (PRTC) certificate immediately as part of the permanent settlement agreement.
The migrant Bru’s have written a letter to Tripura chief secretary Manoj Kumar seeking intervention for providing the ST and PRTC certificates to around 33,000 Bru migrants presently living in six relief camps since October 1997 last.
Earlier, in January as part of a quadripartite agreement signed between the Centre, Bru migrant leaders, government of Mizoram and Tripura, a final resolution was passed by the ministry of home affairs which assured that all 33,000 migrants would be permanently settled in Tripura and a package of Rs 600 crore was also allocated for the same.
More than 37,000 Brus were forced to flee from Mizoram’s Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts to Tripura following an ethnic clash with the Mizos in 1997.
They have been languishing in six relief camps in Naisingpara, Ashaparaa, Hezacherra, Kaskau, Khakchangpara and Hamsapara in Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivision of Tripura since then.
As per home department officials, over 8,000 Brus returned to Mizoram, either through repatriation or on their own, between November 2009 and November last year — during the ninth and final round of repatriation.
The home minister said that under the new arrangement, each of the displaced families would be given 40×30 sq ft residential plots, in addition to the aid under the earlier agreement of a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh, Rs 5,000 cash aid per month for two years, free ration for two years and Rs 1.5 lakh aid to build their house. The government of Tripura would provide the land under this agreement.
Tripura government later identified 15 spots for settling the Bru migrants across the state after a series of discussion on September 19 during a video conference with the officials where the Bru leaders proposed some new locations for their settlement.
However, two local groups– Kanchanpur Nagarik Suraksha Mancha and Mizo Convention started a series of protest against their settlement in Kanchanpur sub-division. Following the protests, on September 29, Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) general secretary Bruno Msha sought the intervention of union home minister Amit Shah to solve the communal tension in the area.
The two local bodies accused the Bru migrants of disturbing the local sentiments in the last 23 years and threatened to hold a series of protests if they are settled in Kanchanpur sub-division.