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Tripura: In memo to CM, Bru migrants body raise concern of communal unrest

In its memorandum, the body has also sought protection around Bru camps to avert any untoward incidents.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Published: March 10, 2020 8:38:01 pm
Tripura Bru refugees, Bru refugees Tripura, Tripura Bru refugee camps, Bengalee Nagarika suraksha manch, indian express news The ethnic Bru or Reang migrants had fled Mizoram in 1997 during ethnic clashes and have been living in six relief camps at Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions of North Tripura for the last 23 years. (Express file photo)

The Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) Thursday submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb through Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Chandni Chandran alleging that the newly formed bodies like Bengalee body Nagarika Suraksha Mancha and Mizo Convention are trying to create ‘communal enmity’ in the area.

In its memorandum, the body has also sought protection around Bru camps to avert any untoward incidents.

The Nagarik Suraksha Mancha is a newly formed Bengali organization which had held strike in parts of North and Unakoti district of Tripura in December last year following the violence that had occurred during a series of anti-CAA protests. Several shops and houses were damaged in the violence, which the body had alleged was perpetrated by tribal protesters including the Bru migrants from the relief camps.

The body later paired with few Mizo organizations and called an indefinite strike in Kanchanpur and Jampui Hill areas in February demanding that Bru migrants were rehabilitated away from Kanchanpur and rehabilitation package for Bengalee and Mizo families purportedly evicted from their homes by Bru migrants amongst others.

The Nagarik Suraksha Mancha is a newly formed Bengali organization which had held strike in parts of North and Unakoti district of Tripura in December last year following the violence that had occurred during a series of anti-CAA protests. Several shops and houses were damaged in the violence, which the body had alleged was perpetrated by tribal protesters including Bru migrants from the relief camps.

The Mancha later paired with few Mizo organizations and called an indefinite strike in Kanchanpur and Jampui Hill areas in February on three demands including rehabilitating Mizoram’s Bru migrants away from Kanchanpur, rehabilitation package for Bengalee and Mizo families purportedly evicted from their homes by Bru migrants etc.

“The allegation of Kanchanpur Nagarik Suraksha Mancha and Mizo Convention holding the Bru responsible for the displacement of Bengali and Mizo families is completely false and unfounded propaganda. It is just to mislead the people of Tripura and also to create communal enmity,” the memorandum submitted by the Bru migrants read.

The migrant leaders further said that Bengali and Mizo communities in the area have threatened them of dire consequences if they are resettled inside Kanchanpur sub-division. They have also demanded the state and central governments to resettle them in clusters, with no less than 500 families.

Some of these demands come in contrast to the state government’s stand as Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said earlier this month that no more than 300 Bru families would be resettled in each of 18 locations initially identified for their rehabilitation in the state.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Nagarik Suraksha Mancha president Ranjit Kumar Nath denied allegations of Bru migrants about creating any kind of ethnic tension and said that his organization never issued threats to anyone. “We haven’t threatened anyone. This allegation is baseless. The local administration is well aware of this”, Nath said.

The ethnic Bru or Reang migrants had fled Mizoram in 1997 during ethnic clashes and have been living in six relief camps at Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions of North Tripura for the last 23 years.  In January this year, the Indian government had signed a four corner agreement with state governments of Tripura, Mizoram and the Bru migrants to resettle them permanently in Tripura instead of providing relief funds and ration for years. The centre had also announced Rs 600 crore package for the resettlement.

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