Agartala: Over 24 years after being forced to flee their homeland in Mizoram and taking shelter in Tripura, the process of permanent resettlement and rehabilitation of the internally-displaced Bru people started on Monday, education minister Ratan Lal Nath told EastMojo.

“For the time being, 493 members of 426 families will stay in temporary camps in Ambasa and Longtarai Valley subdivisions of Dhalai district. The Tripura government will soon make arrangements for their permanent residence,” Nath said.

He also said that no action was taken for a long time to rehabilitate them in Tripura. The situation had reached such a point that the education and health of their next generation was deteriorating by the day, he said.

“The BJP-IPFT coalition government has gone ahead with their permanent solution. Arrangements have been made for their rehabilitation in Tripura,” Nath added.

The minister further said that the process of permanent rehabilitation started from Monday. Brus living in Kanchanpur have been rehabilitated in Ambasa and Longtarai Valley subdivisions of Dhalai district.

He said the state government made arrangements to rehabilitate 493 members of 426 families in 14 buses on Monday.

According to him, 252 Bru refugees from 220 families in Haduklak Para of Ambassa subdivision and 241 Bru from 206 families in Bangafa Para of Longtharai Valley subdivision have been rehabilitated.

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The Bru issue has lasted for more than two decades. About 24 years ago, after the ethnic riots in Mizoram, the people of the Bru tribe took shelter in various camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivisions of Tripura.

Initiatives were taken more than once for their return to Mizoram. But every time, that process suffered a setback. Finally, after the BJP-IPFT government was formed in Tripura, there was a permanent solution with the signing of a quadripartite agreement on January 16, 2019.

Meanwhile, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb has expressed happiness over solving the problem of Bru families. “I am happy that another dream of PM Shri Narendra Modi has come true in Tripura on time with the relocation of 426 Bru families from Kanchanpur to permanent shelters in Dhalai, the process of resettlement of Bru tribes living in exile for 24 years in Tripura started,” he said.

In January 2019, Union home minister Amit Shah had said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we had found a permanent solution to the long-standing issue of rehabilitating thousands of Bru/Reang people in Tripura and they can now look towards a bright future. Under the new agreement, he informed, around 32,000 Bru refugees will be settled in Tripura and would be given aid from the Centre to help with their rehabilitation and all-round development through a package of around Rs 600 crore.

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The home minister also informed 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.

The Tripura government had identified a total of 16 locations in five districts including Gomati, Sepahijala, Khowai, Dhalai and North Tripura for resettling 4,900 families comprising 32,000 people across the state.

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