The Kanchanpur administration in Tripura’s north district Tuesday imposed restrictions on public movement and gatherings under Section 144 of the CrPC for 24 hours after a man was assaulted during an ongoing strike against the state’s decision to permanently settle over 5,000 Bru migrants in the sub-division. The strike call was given by Joint Movement Committee, a joint forum of local ethnic civil societies
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. The Centre has declared a Rs 600 crore package for resettling these migrants in clusters in the state.
The Joint Movement Committee, comprising Nagarik Surakhsa Mancha and Mizo Convention of the sub-division, had organised a series of protests demanding that the Brus be settled across all the eight districts of Tripura instead concentrating them largely in North Tripura. However, as the resettlement formula became public, the forum announced an indefinite strike across Kanchanpur sub-division starting Monday.
While no untoward incident was reported yesterday, 36-year-old Subal Dey, a water supply operator, was assaulted on Tuesday after he reported for duty in the Purba Laxmipur area. Dey was allegedly involved in an argument with some local people who assaulted him with a sharp weapon.
Dey was rushed to Dasda Primary Health Centre (PHC) in the vicinity, from where he was shifted to Kanchanpur sub-divisional hospital. He was referred to Dharmanagar District Hospital later this evening.
Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Bikramjit Shukladas reached the spot and a large contingent of Tripura Police and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) was deployed in the affected areas. North Tripura superintendent of police Bhanupada Chakraborty, too, rushed to the spot and Section 144 was imposed by the local administration soon after.
The SDPO said no FIR was registered with the local police authorities till latest reports came in.
In an order copy issued this evening, Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Chandni Chandran said, “… there is a strong apprehension of breach of peace and public tranquillity in Kanchanpur Sub Division in the context of prevailing indefinite strike called by the Joint Movement Committee and subsequent mobilizations as per the reports from police authorities. Therefore….. in the exercise of power vested upon me U/S 144 Cr PC is imposed in Kanchanpur Sub-Division from November 17, 20:00 hrs to November 18, 2020 23:59 hrs”.
The assault comes a day after Bru migrant leaders met Tripura Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar and apprised him of the ongoing agitations. “We repose our faith in the government. The JMC is against the formula of our repatriation. But we don’t want to say anything about this. They have their constitutional right of opposing it. We believe the government will take necessary action”, Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) general secretary Bruno Msha told indianexpress.com.
Sushanta Barua, a leader of Nagarik Suraksha Mancha and Joint Movement Committee, blamed the assault on Bru migrants. “If such attacks are occurring before their resettlement, one can only imagine what will happen afterwards.”
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