As Tripura prepares to resettle 32,000 Bru migrants from Mizoram in the state, migrant leaders have alleged severe lapses in the process and sought the state government’s intervention. This comes after the government finished verifying the identities of Bru migrants living in Tripura and identified 18 locations for their resettlement across the state.
In a letter to state Tribal Affairs minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia, Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) and Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Coordination Committee (MBDPCC), both migrant organizations, said those who are separated from their families and living outside the camps were not recognised as ‘split families’ during Tripura’s identification drive. Many of them were, in fact, recognised in the Mizoram government’s last identification drive in July, 2019, when the central government mandated Brus’ return to Mizoram as the only acceptable resolution of displacement.
The migrants have also claimed that the state government got over 60 per cent of the names wrong while enrolling them in the list of identified beneficiaries. These entries don’t match with Aadhaar cards, bank accounts, EPIC cards and other documents, the migrant leaders claimed. They have also pointed out several typological errors in the identified list of beneficiaries. The migrant leaders have also complained that ‘a considerable number’ of genuine Bru migrant families were left out in the physical verification process.
Brus in Tripura’s relief camps are given a daily quota of 600 grams rice for every adult, some salt, cash dole of Rs 5 per adult and Rs 2.5 for minors, and essentials like soap, slippers and mosquito nets over various periods.
Due to this, MBDPF and MBDPCC has reasoned, many members of these migrant families are living outside Tripura to work in menial jobs. Their small remittances, coupled with relief facilities provided to them, aid the sustenance.
Over 5,000 Bru migrants were repatriated in the previous nine phases of repatriation to Mizoram since 2009. Many of them are ‘accepted by mistake’ in the state government’s verified list, the letter said.
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