Agartala: At least 17 makeshift huts of the internally displaced Brus at a camp in Hamsapara under Panisagar sub-division in North Tripura district were gutted in a fire on Saturday, said sources.

Speaking with EastMojo, Bruno Msha, General Secretary Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), said the fire broke out on Saturday around 8:30 in the morning at Hamsapara relief camp under Panisagar Sub-Division in North Tripura. 

“As per a report received from the branch of MBDPF, altogether 17 houses are gutted and 11 houses have been dismantled to prevent spreading of the fire. The fire broke out due to electrical issues,” Msha said.

He also said that although nobody sustained injuries in the incident, many of the family members lost their documents and important papers in the fire.

“The government should compensate for the loss and temporary shelters should be provided to the affected families. This is the month of November and people would suffer in the cold if immediate measures are not taken,” Msha added.

When contacted, a police officer on duty said the fire broke out in the morning due to an electrical short circuit in which around 18 houses were reduced to ashes.

“A team of police and fire and emergency services rushed to the spot upon receiving news of the incident. We are verifying and collecting details of the incident and the loss incurred by the families,” the official said. 

In January 2019, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they have found a permanent solution to the long-standing issue of rehabilitating thousands of Bru/Reang people in Tripura, and that they can now look towards a bright future.

Under the new agreement, Shah had said, 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.

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 houses. The government of Tripura would provide the land under this agreement.

Msha said they have written a letter to the North Tripura district magistrate and collector Nagesh Kumar B. and highlighted that the situation of Hamsapara is extremely bad.

He said the letter also draws attention of the free ration scheme that the Tripura government has suspended since October 1. He requested the immediate release of free ration including the arrears of October, 2021.

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