The Resettlement Quandary: A report from the camps of internally displaced Bru tribalspicture

Agartala: In January 2020, Home Minister Amit Shah signed a quadripartite agreement, signalling yet another effort to resettle the Brus, who fled Mizoram following riots in 1997 and have since found a home in Tripura.

Close to 7,000 families are supposed to be settled in Tripura, where the Brus took refuge following the 1997 riots. But how close are they to calling Tripura a forever home? And what issues do they face in their quest? Watch this documentary to find out.

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As per the agreement, 6,959 Bru families were to be resettled in Tripura—a population of 37,136 people—across 11 locations.

However, marred by the COVID-19 pandemic and protests by Tripura residents, the resettlement process officially started only in April 2021.

And the slow pace has not yet picked up.

Bru tribals

According to the pact, every Bru family would get a 40×30-feet plot to build a house, a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh, financial aid of Rs 5,000 per month and free rations for two years. Each family would also get Rs 1.5 lakh to build a home.

So far, 196 families have moved and resettled in Bongaphapara. Another 295 Bru families have been resettled in Hadukulakpara, 143 in Kaskaupara, and 75 in Wainbukcherra-Ranipara. In short, so far less than 10% of the total families have been resettled.

Bru tribals

The issues don’t end here. Thirty-eight families residing at the Hamsapara relief camp were to be resettled in Kahamthai Para, but of those, only half the families moved and resettled in the Kahamthai Para. The process for resettling 19 other families came to a halt after construction was halted over concerns about the land, loose soil and steep slopes in the area.

Under the first phase, resettlement work has already started at two locations in Dhalai and North Tripura districts. These are Kaskaupara, Wainbukcherra-Ranipara, Bongaphapara and Hadukulahpara.

The officials believe it will take two years for the resettlement project to complete.

Bru tribals

The government has plans to start facilities such as Ekalavya Schools, Anganwadi Centres, Primary Health Centres, market sheds and ration shops inside these colonies. Even though some Brus have resigned to their fate following decades of disappointment, others still hope to see an improvement in their living conditions despite questionable work delivered by the authorities so far.

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