Guwahati: The All India Chakma Social Forum (AICSF), an apex Chakma body in India, has urged Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga not to disturb the "delicate communal harmony in Tripura."
In his letter to Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb on 29 May, Zoramthanga said: "there has been ethnic tension and upheaval between Mizos and Brus, both in Mizoram and Tripura and any strain between the two communities in Tripura will no doubt have repercussions in Mizoram and vice versa, which could defeat the very purpose and spirit of the Agreement" on the Bru settlement in Tripura.
"The letter of Chief Minister Zoramthanga is nothing but provoking communal disharmony and threatening the Brus in Mizoram with violence from the majority community of the State despite that the Brus whether in Mizoram or Tripura have nothing do with as the decision of the Government of Tripura to settle Brus in the State. If the Chief Minister himself issues such threats in social media by violating propriety and constitutional obligations, it emboldens the communal organizations to unleash violence against minorities", Suhas Chakma, Advisor of the All India Chakma Social Forum and former interlocutor of the Ministry of Home Affairs on the Bru issue, said.
"If the Mizoram government and Chief Minister Zoramthanga are so serious about the rights of the Mizos in Tripura with the settlement of the Brus from Mizoram, it can still repatriate the Brus, settle them in their original villages and grant them an Autonomous District Council or Development Council as granted to Lai, Mara, Chakmas, and Hmars in the State. The Brus shall be very happy to return", he further went on to add.
"Tripura is a State governed by the rule of law and the State shall settle the Brus in Khas lands without acquiring any private property or taking any side. Chief Minister of Mizoram having refused to take back the Brus and restore their rights in Mizoram has no moral or legal authority to speak on the Bru settlement issue in Tripura." – also stated Mr Chakma.
About 35,000 Brus of Mizoram had to flee from their homes in October 1997. They have been living in the relief camps for the last two decades after an ethnic conflict with the Mizors that took place in the 1990's. This year, the Union Home Ministry along with several stockholders signed a treaty to resettle the Brus in Tripura.