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Bru Refugees North Tripura Revolt over Agreement, Refuse to be Repatriated

Special Correspondent

Silchar, July 20: In a significant dramatic move, around 5000 Bru refugees sheltered in Kanchanpur camps of North Tripura revolted against the agreement signed by MBDPF (Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum) in a four-corner meeting represented by the high officials of Union Home Ministry, Mizoram, Tripura Chief Minister and the Bru leaders held on July 3 in New Delhi. Speaking to The Sentinel from Kanchanpur over telephone, Bruno Msha, general secretary of the Forum, said after their return from the national capital and their briefing with the camp inmates about the contents of the agreement, there has been brewing discontent among the refugees.

Defying the leaders, the camp refugees brought out a protest rally on last Wednesday, marched down from Naisingpara to Gachirampara, a distance of 3 km, voicing their resentment on certain specific grounds. These protesters then laid siege of the MBDPF office located in the midst of 6 camps, demanding explanation from the leaders. It did not end here. The leaders were taken to the offices of the sub divisional magistrate of Kanchanpur, Sajal Biswas, Dr Kiran Kumar, IPS, the sub divisional police officer and Animesh Debbarma, the deputy collector and in their presence forced them to sign withdrawal of the four corner agreement. A Sawibunga, president of the Forum, on behalf of all the signatories on the agreement, signed on the withdrawal of agreement.

Before the protest rally, some of the Brus went on hunger strike, insisting on withdrawal of the agreement, besides threatening to continue it till their demand was met. The protest rally and hunger strike were organized under the banner of Mizoram Bru Indigenous Democratic Movement and Bru Tribal Development Society and Young Bru Association. The protesters have been demanding inclusion of special area development council for Brus, formation of separate cluster or model villages, deployment of central security forces for protection, allotment of land for cremation and temple for the Bru Hindus, Rs.4 lakh cash assistance be given to each family and most important land for cultivation, so essential for their survival.

A Sawibunga, president, and Bruno Msha, general secretary, MBDPF, expressing their regret for the unfortunate development, have requested the Centre, the states of Mizoram and Tripura to understand the grievances of the refugees and take the initiative for the repatriation of the displaced Brus to their native land of Mizoram. MBDPF assures to extend all possible help and cooperation to the Central government and both the states of Mizoram and Tripura to make the people understand all about the package and to have the positive approach for a practicable solution to the 20 year long problem.

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Sentinel Group