Bru pact evokes mixed response in Tripura

Agartala: The quadruplet agreement headed by Union home minister Amit Shah to settle the displaced Brus in Tripura, amid demands of their repatriation by the non-tribal residents, has evoked mixed reactions.
Besides BJP, opposition Congress, CPI (M) and all other tribal parties, including Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman, hailed the decision as ‘historic’ to end the 23-year-old impasse over the settlement of about 34,000 Bru displaced people.
Nagarik Suraksha Mancha (NSM), an apolitical outfit for the residents of Kanchanpur, where the Bru refugees have been living in camps, expressed annoyance over the deal and termed it as ‘suicidal’.
The NSM has been fighting for the last few years against the atrocities of Bru displaced people settled in six camps of Kanchanpur and Panisagar of North Tripura since October 1997.
The local residents, including local tribals, suffered after the creation of Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF), a militant outfit of the displaced people about a decade ago. Gradually, the tension spread to the nearby villages and most recently, during anti-CAB movement, Bru people allegedly attacked the non-tribals and more than 5,000 people became homeless. The non-tribals had to flee their homes and take shelter in local schools and different public institutions.
Earlier, on several occasions, the local people had faced a number of odd situations that triggered communal tensions.
After recent tensions, allegedly due to atrocities by Brus, NSM resorted to agitation with its demand to ensure the repatriation of Brus to their homeland in Mizoram.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had visited the area to alleviate the ongoing tension but it backfired. It is being alleged that he did not meet the local people despite repeated appeals and they finally issued ultimatum for repatriation of Brus.
The president of NSM Ranjit Nath said due to the violent activities on the part of Bru displaced about 6,000 Bengali people had to flee from Naisingpara, Anandabazzar and few adjoining areas.
Hundreds of non-tribals, over the past decade, were forced to leave their ancestral properties in Kanchanpur due to the violent attacks of the Bru refugees.
“The BJP government has succumbed to the pressure of the tribal groups. And, the onslaught on the Bengali people would now become a permanent problem for the state. Their decision might have been taken to increase the party’s vote bank but BJP doesn’t understand its future impact. Neither those people will support BJP nor will they allow other communities to live around them peacefully. It’s a very cunning design to victimise the Bengalis even further,” Nath said.
He added that NSM will continue their movement opposing the deal.
Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee has also welcomed the move, while CPI (M) echoed the same and asked the government to ensure implementation of the promises made to the refugees.
Deb thanks Modi for resolving impasse
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Friday said the 23-year-long stalemate of Bru displaced people has been solved with the positive action of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
“There were several attempts to repatriate 34,000 Bru displaced people but it was failed due to inaction of the then-government. It has created trouble for their next generation,” Deb said.
“This is for the first time in the country one state has agreed to settle the residents of other state. Now, the modalities of the rehabilitation exercise would be carried out in a careful manner,” Deb added.
The vexed issue started in 1997 following demands of a separate autonomous district council by carving out areas of western Mizoram adjoining Bangladesh and Tripura. (UNI)

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