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Tripura Bru settlement protests: Govt orders magisterial probe; toll rises to two

An indefinite shutdown has been called in North Tripura against the state government’s formula to resettle Bru migrants from Mizoram.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Updated: November 22, 2020 11:26:49 am
North Tripura: Joint Movement Committee (JMC) members clash with the security personnel during a protest against the resettlement of displaced Bru migrants in Kanchanpur sub-division, at Panisagar in North Tripura district, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (PTI Photo) (PTI21-11-2020_000244A)

A Fire Service personnel, who was injured during anti-Bru resettlement protests at North Tripura’s Panisagar yesterday, passed away today, raising the toll to two. The state government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and announced Rs. 5 lakh compensation for the deceased’s family.

An indefinite shutdown has been called in North Tripura against the state government’s formula to resettle Bru migrants from Mizoram. According to the police, the protesters turned violent on Saturday, forcing the police to open fire and use force.  Srikanta Das, a 40-year-old carpenter, who was part of the protests, died on the spot.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Additional Director General of Police Rajiv Singh said the police was compelled to fire in self defence. However, Joint Movement Committee, which called the agitation, has claimed police fired at protesters even as they were agitating peacefully.

bru migrants tripura, bru migrants resettlement tripura protests, tripura bru migrants protest, bru migrants mizoram tripura A vehicle in flames during a protest by the Joint Movement Committee (JMC) against the resettlement of displaced Bru migrants in Kanchanpur sub-division, at Panisagar in North Tripura district (PTI Photo)

Seven protesters as well as 15 police and fire service personnel were injured during the clash. Biswajit Debbarma, a 30-year-old Fire Service personnel, succumbed to his injuries today. Speaking to indianexpress.com this morning, New Capital Complex Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Piya Madhuri Majumder said that Biswajit Debbarma was admitted at GBP Hospital with poly-trauma and head injuries.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb held an urgent meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Devvarma, Director General of Police (DGP) VY Yadav and Additional DGP Rajiv Singh to discuss the incident and order a magisterial probe. “The magisterial inquiry will be conducted by North Tripura District Nagesh Kumar B and the probe report will be submitted within one month”, Tripura Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said.

North Tripura: Police try to stop members of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC) who were staging a protest against the resettlement of displaced Bru migrants (PTI)

Over 32,000 Brus, who fled Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of adjoining Mizoram in 1997, are being resettled in Tripura as part of an agreement between the state governments of Tripura, Mizoram, the central government and Bru migrants. Twenty-three years after their displacement and nine phases of repatriation, the Centre has declared a Rs 600-crore package for resettling these migrants in clusters in the state in January this year.

The incident comes in the aftermath of support from opposition CPIM in favour of demands placed forth by the Joint Movement Committee, where the party said migrants should be resettled on khash or government lands, reserved forest areas or forest cover-free lands and their livelihood should be ensured without disturbing the interests of permanent local residents. The party has also urged the state government to initiate dialogue with the protesters to reach amicable solution of the crisis.

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