Nine months after the central government signed a quadripartite agreement for permanently settling Mizoram’s 32 thousand Bru migrants in Tripura, the migrants body Tuesday wrote to Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb expressing regret at not being able to meet the CM during this time, and sought an appointment from him to discuss issues relating to the resettlement process.
In January this year, the Government of India signed a four-corner agreement for a final resolution of the 23-year old Bru displacement crisis in Tripura and announced that over 33,000 Bru migrants, languishing in six relief camps since October, 1997, will be provided settlement in the state. The centre declared a Rs. 600 crore package for resettling these migrants in clusters in the state.
As part of the resettlement process, the state government approved 15 spots for the Bu migrants on September 19 after a series of discussion that involved meeting Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath, Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar and video conference with revenue officials. While few of the rehabilitation spots are still contested with objection from the migrants and protests from local residents, the migrant leaders say they tried to meet the Chief Minister but failed.
“…it is extremely regretful to mention that you could not arrange a single appointment for us even after 9 months have elapsed after a quadripartite agreement. We feel that there is an obligation and moral responsibility to bring about peace and tranquility in the state since we have become one of your citizens as enshrined in the said historic agreement”, Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) general secretary Bruno Msha wrote in the letter to Chief Minister Deb.
Terming the Bru resettlement as a ‘special’ and ‘unique’ issue, the Bru leader said a proper discussion with the government is required to settle the issue. “…..your predecessors have never ignored our applications for appointment in the past taking into account of our miserable plight and vulnerable condition”, he wrote.
On problems faced during resettlement process, Msha expressed concern at movements held recently by Kanchanpur Nagarik Suraksha Mancha and Mizo Convention and said they have resorted to various types of agitations which can provoke communal unrest.
“All the activities being carried out by these organizations under the banner of Joint Movement Committee are more than enough and beyond a limit. Otherwise, communal misunderstanding and conflict may break out across Tripura, Mizoram and Assam if these two organizations are handing the law at their hand”, he told this publication.
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