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‘Mizoram Bru refugees demand immediate implementation of settlement pact’

  • Category
    Governance
  • Published
    24th Nov, 2020

Leaders of the Mizoram Bru refugees have demanded commencement of their permanent rehabilitation in Tripura in the light of the quadripartite agreement signed in New Delhi in January. 

Context

Leaders of the Mizoram Bru refugees have demanded commencement of their permanent rehabilitation in Tripura in the light of the quadripartite agreement signed in New Delhi in January. 

What is in the Bru agreement?

  • All Bru currently living in temporary relief camps in Tripura will be settled in the state, if they want to stay on.
  • The Bru who returned to Mizoram in the eight phases of repatriation since 2009, cannot, however, come back to Tripura.
  • Under the agreement, the Bru refugees will be settled in Tripura. They will get all the rights that the residents of the state enjoy, including social welfare schemes of both Centre and state governments.
  • Each of the displaced families will also be given 40×30 sq.ft. residential plots, in addition to the aid under a 2014 repatriation agreement of a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh, Rs 5,000 cash aid per month for 2 years, free ration for two years and Rs 1.5 lakh to build their house.
  • The Tripura government will provide the land as per this agreement.

How the crisis originated?

  • The Bru community, also referred to as Reangs, resides in Mizoram, Tripura, and parts of southern Assam, and is ethnically distinct from the Mizos.
  • The first signs of conflict between the two communities emerged in 1995 when Mizo organisations — the Young Mizo Association and the Mizo Students’ Association — demanded that Brus be left out of the state’s electoral rolls as they were not an indigenious tribe.
  • The Brus retaliated by forming an armed organisation, Bru National Liberation Front, and a political body, Bru National Union. The two demanded more political autonomy for Mizoram’s Brus and a Bru Autonomous District Council under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • In 1997, following ethnic tension over an incident in Mizoram, around 5,000 families comprising over 30,000 Bru tribals were forced to flee the state and seek shelter in Tripura, where they were housed in temporary camps at Kanchanpur.

Who are Brus?

  • Bru or Reang is a community indigenous to Northeast India, living mostly in Tripura, Mizoram and Assam.
  • In Tripura, they are recognised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group.
  • In Mizoram, they have been targeted by groups that do not consider them indigenous to the state. 
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