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States » East

Bru calls off blockade on 8th day after Tripura govt announces resumption of ration

Agartala, Nov 7 (UNI) The internally displaced Brus called off their agitation today after eight days of continuous blockade on Dasda – Ananda Bazzar road of Kanchanpur in North Tripura following the assurance of Tripura cabinet delegation of resuming ration supply to the family.
Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma along with three of his cabinet members – Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath, Tribal Welfare Minister Mevar Kr Jamatia and Social Welfare Minister Santana Chakma and both the MPs of Lok Sabha Pratima Bhowmik and Rebati Tripura today held discussion with Bru leaders and try to convinced them.
Later, Dev Varma announced that 22 years old deadlock cannot be solved overnight and Tripura government has decided to provide ration to the displaced families from tomorrow and he invited Bru leaders in Agartala to sit with the state government for an amicable solution of the issue and accordingly, the blockade was withdrawn.
The Brus launched agitation seeking ration supply after it was stopped by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). As many as seven deaths occurred in last nine days in the camps claimed to be due to starvation and more than 67 people fell ill but Tripura government was not responding properly.
Meantime, additional chief secretary of Tripura government Kumar Alok on issued warning in a meeting in Kanchanpur two days ago to apply force to withdraw the agitation. Dismantle the camps and push Brus back to Mizoram unless they voluntarily agree to repatriate, which aggravated the situation further.
Accordingly, MHA offered Rs 25,000 additional support to each of the Bru family who will get to Mizoram on Nov 5-7, 2019 and indicated strain action against them to complete the entire process of repatriation. The warning from Tripura officer and subsequent pressure from MHA, Bru families became adamant not to move.
The royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman has added pressure on Tripura government announcing to stand with the displace families. He also demanded Tripura government to provide plot of land with patta and announced, “If Tripura government fails to accommodate them, he will provide them land”.
According to Pradyot, "This is Brus’ own place. No one could push all of you to Mizoram because Maharaja Pradyot Kishore is with you. Once you had to uproot for the sake of Dumbur hydro electric project in early 70s and settled in Mizoram. Once again you people are facing the same fate. I am with all of you. If situation arises, I will give land settlement of Bru people.”
Pradyot argued Tripura government plans to provide over 2000 acres of land for raising a BSF firing range at Kanchanpur, why Bru, one of the indigenous tribes will not get land for settlement? He warned, “I would file a writ petition to High Court against the stoppage of free ration to the Brus. Under Article 21, no one is denied of food or ration. If happens, it will be human right violation and I will surely knock the door for the Bru people.”
Reacting to the government’s decision, Mizoram Bru Displaced Persons Forum (MBDPF) general secretary Bruno Mesa told media, “We are happy with the decision to resume food supplies in the camps. We were hungry. This is a welcome move.” However, he reiterated that problems of their repatriation to Mizoram, owing to which they had refused to return in the first place, are yet to be solved.
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