Agartala, Nov 4: The pressure on the Centre has further intensified as four leading socio cultural organizations of indigenous people of the state - Jamatia Hoda, Tripura Juglai Butho, Bru-socio cultural organization and Tripura Khatriya Samaj extended support to the demands of Bru refugees settled in six camps of North Tripura.
The Bru inmates have been staging blockade of an important road in Kanchanpur seeking resumption of their daily ration, which was stopped by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) from last month. The suspension of food supply and cash to the inmates’ triggered starvation and so far seven persons, including children, have allegedly died due to food shortage in past few days.
The Bru refugees used to get Rs 3.50 in cash and 600 grams of rice per day per person as allowances while each minor received Rs 2.50 in cash and 300 grams of rice by which they had been managing their life for the last 22 years but suspension of all rations and cash have hit them hard.
This is for the first time, the organisations of indigenous community have decided to stand by the Brus who formally urged the Tripura government to ensure necessary help for the inmates lodged in the camps. Speaking to media, Chairman of the joint committee Dilip Debbarma said that the refugees who were being offered resettlement in Mizoram are fear-stricken. The main reasons for their concerns are the religious influence and lack of inter-community confidence.
The way the Brus have been offered resettlement in Mizoram clearly indicate that it would not help the refugees to be united. As a result, it is quite natural for any community or group to be afraid in resettling and said, “The Brus had to flee away leaving their home and hearth in Mizoram following violence on them by majority group. They are afraid of a similar situation in near future if they cannot live together in the clusters.”
He also alleged that this initiative is a well-concerted plan to break the religious unity of the refugees as most of them practice Hinduism whereas in Mizoram most of the population practice Christianity. If the resettlement makes the refugees segmented, the apprehension of religious conversion and various atrocities on Brus cannot be ruled out, Debbarma added.
The committee also expressed concern over how the rights of the people were being violated in terms of forest rights, customary laws and many more.
Meanwhile, Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman came out formally supporting the demand of Bru refugees and became critical of the government. He said, “We have become refugees in our own land and today the situation is very grave. If India can accept lakhs of Bangladeshi by amending citizenship Act, why can’t a few thousand Brus of Mizoram be accepted and accommodated? ”
Pradyot stated that he has already sent 1500 kgs of rice, dal and other food items for Bru inmates in past two days and today also some more stuff have been dispatched for them. He urged all section of the society to stand by the Brus in the time of crisis. Hitting out at the government Pradyot alleged that many of the Bru people were displaced due to construction of Dumbur hydel project in south-eastern part of Tripura in early 70s and they migrated to Mizoram.
He threatened, “Enough is enough. If the state government can consider providing 2700 acres of land for BSF in Kanchanpur why can't they give land for our displaced people? Time has come for us to speak out and I want our Bru people to get land in Tripura.” (UNI)