Ministry matters

Tripura: Bru migrants write to Union Home Ministry, demand faster resettlement

Bru migrants in Tripura have urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to speed up the process of their resettlement.

Notably, more than two decades after escaping ethnic violence in Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram, 32,000 Bru migrants are now permanently resettled in Tripura, thanks to an agreement signed by the Union government. , the state governments of Tripura and Mizoram, and the Bru migrants, in January 2020.

In a letter to the Shah through the Block Development Officer (BDO) of the Dasda Rural Development Block on Friday, the Bru Displaced Youth Association (BDYA) blamed the “negligent” attitude of the government of Tripura for the “delay” in completing the resettlement process.

“A landmark agreement to address 23 long-standing issues of displaced Brus was signed on January 16, 2020 in New Delhi. In accordance with the agreement, the identification of land/locations for resettlement should have been completed within 60 days of the signing of the agreement as well as…the closure of the temporary relief camps should have been completed within 180 days… but even after 742 days… 90 percent of the resettlement process is pending due to the negligent attitude of the Tripura government,” reads the letter signed by BDYA Chairman Herbert Reang.

Bru youth organization claimed that the resettlement process has only been initiated in one place in Kanchanpur sub-division, but hardly any work has progressed in other proposed resettlement sites in Gachirampara, Anandabazaar, Manu-Chailengta, Nandirampara and Bikramjaypara Reserve Forest.

The letter also asked Shah to ensure that resettlement packages are immediately given to migrant families who have settled in different parts of the state.

Under the assured government scheme, each resettled family would receive 0.03 acre (1.5 ganda) of land for building a house, Rs 1.5 lakh as housing assistance, Rs 4 lakh as one-time cash benefit for subsistence, monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 and free ration for two years from the date of resettlement.

Nearly 37,000 Bru migrants fled ethnic clashes in Mizoram in 1997 and were housed in six relief camps in North Tripura district. Around 5,000 people returned in nine rounds of repatriation, but almost the same number were displaced in renewed clashes in 2009 and came to Tripura.

The 2020 pact was signed two years after another agreement in June 2018, which aimed to repatriate internally displaced people to Mizoram, was rejected by migrants. The Bru migrants then complained that they had not been “properly consulted” on the resettlement procedure.