Updated: July 31, 2021 2:31:56 pm
Four days after a clash between people of Bru and Chorai communities at Damcherra in Panisagar sub-division of North Tripura district, leaders of Mizoram’s Bru migrants, who are currently undergoing permanent resettlement in Tripura, said the clashes were “instigated” by certain people with vested interests. The migrant leaders have urged the state government to identify such people and set exemplary punishments for them.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, North Tripura Superintendent of Police Bhanupada Chakraborty said the situation was peaceful at Damcherra and contingents of Tripura Police, Tripura State Rifles (TSR) and Central Reserve Paramilitary Force (CRPF) were deployed to maintain law and order in the areas.
“A team from the local administration was sent to talk to those who fled Tripura and went to Assam. They were provided food and medical services from our side. 640 people of the Chorai community have fled to Assam. They have agreed to come back. We have registered a case and are investigating the issue,” the official said.
Speaking to reporters at the Agartala Press Club on Friday evening, Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) general secretary Bruno Msha said he and three other Bru migrants’ bodies feel that the Chorai people were “vetted by some other people” for the purported threats.
“We feel these threats and attacks on our migrant brethren are part of an effort to disrupt our resettlement in Tripura. We want to appeal to those who fled to Assam to come back. We are friends with them,” he added.
Four Bru migrant organizations – MBDPF, MBDPC, BTDS and BDWO — have said that they feel the Chorai people were “instigated” and “encouraged” by others against the Brus. Bruno asked the Tripura government to identify the people responsible for the incident and give exemplary punishment to them.
The migrant leaders also sought financial compensation for the eight Bru migrants who were injured in the incident and requested the state government to provide 20 hectares of additional land between Damcherra and Gourangopara near the Tripura-Mizoram border for the accommodating 345 Bru migrant families at Kaskaopara — one of the six transit camps for the migrants who have been living in Tripura for the last two decades.
The migrants also requested the state government to expedite the resettlement process and provide security for their protection. “We have been living peacefully alongside the Chorai people for decades. They threatened us thrice before the incident on July 26 but we remained peaceful. In the fourth case, our people had to retaliate for the safety of life and property. We have heard that some of the Chorai people have fled to Assam and alleged that they were beaten by us. This is false and baseless,” Bruno said.
Meanwhile, the Young Mizo Association (YMA), a civil society of Mizoram, has urged the Biplab Deb government to arrest those responsible.
“On Monday, at around 11 am at Damcherra area, some Brus from Kaskao acted violently upon some Chorai people and burnt their houses and intimidated women and Children. We find it extremely unfortunate and extend our sympathy towards the victims. The Indian Constitution prohibits communal violence and we call upon the Tripura government to nab the culprits as punish them as per law. We also call upon the Tripura government to make sure that the Chorai tribal people are able to peacefully return to Damcherra area,” a statement issued by Lalnuntluanga Colney, secretary of YMA’s Langkaih group and its president Zonunthanga, read.
As many as 35,000 Bru migrants from Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram are living in Tripura’s northern district for the last 24 years. Nearly 5,000 of them had returned home in eight phases of repatriation. However, many had come back to Tripura in 2009 following renewed tension in Mizoram. They are now in the middle of the permanent resettlement process in Tripura as per a quadripartite agreement signed between the Centre, Mizoram and Tripura governments and the Bru migrants.