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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-III :
  • 04 May, 2020

  • 8 Min Read

Bru crisis and their displacement to Tripura

Context:

2 community groups in Tripura have opposed the resettlement of Brus from Mizoram to Tripura.

A joint team of the Nagarik Suraksha Mancha, mostly representing Bengali people displaced from the erstwhile East Pakistan post partition in 1947 .

Northern Tripura has a sizeable Mizo population concentrated in the subdivision’s Jampui Hill area.

Who are Brus?

  • The Brus spread across Tripura, Mizoram and parts of southern Assam--are the most populous tribe in Tripura.
  • In Mizoram, they are scattered in Kolasib, Lunglei and Mamit districts. While many Brus of Assam and Tripura are Hindu, the Brus of Mizoram converted to Christianity over the years.
  • Bru tribals from Mizoram, living as refugees in Tripura since 1997, were allowed to permanently settle in Tripura.
  • The agreement, allowing 30,000 Bru tribals to permanently settle in Tripura, took 20 years and nine attempts in the making, and was signed between the Centre, the state governments of Tripura and Mizoram, and Bru-Reang representatives .
  • Also known as Reangs in the state, they are ethnically different from the Mizos, with their own distinct language and dialect and form one of the 21 scheduled tribes of Tripura.
  • While Mizoram has as many as 40,000 Brus living in the state, in Tripura, their numbers stand at approximately 32,000, spread across six refugee camps in the state.

Brus conflict with Mizos

  • Clashes in 1995 with the majority Mizos led to the demand for the removal of the Brus, perceived to be non-indigenous, from Mizoram’s electoral rolls. This led to an armed movement by Bru National Liberation Front, which killed a Mizo forest official in October 1997. The retaliatory ethnic violence saw more than 40,000 Brus fleeing to adjoining Tripura where they took shelter in six relief camps.
  • In 1997, roughly half the Bru population fled to Tripura, following violent clashes with the Mizo population, which led to the Brus’ demand for an Autonomous District Council (ADC), under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution, in western Mizoram, where they were the more dominant lot, outnumbering the ethnic Mizo population.
  • The Brus began demanding relief on a par with the relief given to Kashmiri Pandits and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.
  • The union home ministry started a round of talks with the state governments of Mizoram and Tripura to legitimize the 30,000-odd refugees.
  • In November, Bru refugees blocked a stretch in North Tripura for 12 hours, demanding the Centre restore their food and cash benefits even as repatriation efforts continued.
  • the union home ministry finally inked the tripartite pact which now paves the way for these displaced Bru tribals from Mizoram to permanently settle in Tripura.

Resettlement package for Brus

  • The package covered 32,876 members of 5,407 Bru families.
  • The package includes:
  • one-time assistance of ?4 lakh as fixed deposit within a month of repatriation
  • monthly cash assistance of ?5,000 through DBT
  • free rations for two years
  • ?1.5 lakh in three instalments as house-building assistance.
  • The package also included Eklavya residential schools, permanent residential and ST certificates besides funds to the Mizoram government for improving security in Bru resettlement areas.

Source: TH


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