AGARTALA: The agitation against the rehabilitation of Reang refugees in different parts of Tripura is gaining momentum as the official teams are facing stiff resistance in visiting the sites proposed for the purpose. After Kanchanpur, the official team had to abandon the proposed visit to a site in Longthorai Valley Sub-division of Dhalai district.
Thousands of people erected a road blockade as the official team led by Amartya Roy Barman, SDM, Longthoria Valley Sub-division was on the way to Durgachara. People raised slogans against the rehabilitation of Reang refugees in Tripura. The officials held talks with the agitating leaders but failed to convince them and returned.
As per the proposal, the Reang refugees numbering over 33,000, now staying in six camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions, will be given rehabilitation in eleven places in Tripura. Durgachera was one of the sites where a few hundred families were proposed to be settled.
The area is presently habitated by people belonging to various tribal communities like Chakma, Tripuri, Munda and Bengalis. Most of them are landless. Prafulla Debbarma, a local resident, said they are staying in the area for so many years but not getting allotment of land. Now the government is planning to allocate the land to outsiders which can't be tolerated, he said.
He said if the outsiders are rehabilitated in the area, the local people will lose their livelihood because the majority of them survive by cultivating jhum, collecting firewood and other forest products from these areas.
SDM Roy Barman said initially a plot of 37 acres was identified to rehabilitate the Reang refugees but they will review the matter as the local people are opposing it.