Tribals from Tripura becomes refugees in Assam after Bru refugees in Mizoram attack them

Over the possession of forest land in the Damcherra area in Tripura, clashes took place between the Bru people living in the Caso relief camp and people from Chorei on July 26.

Also read: Meghalaya labor minister Sanbor Shullai supports Mizoram on Assam – Mizoram border issue

Emergence of delicate matters despite certain issues

Tripura

Even as the border tension between Assam and Mizoram remains delicate, fresh tensions emerge on the Mizoram – Tripura border.

Around 1500 locals from Tripura were forced to take shelter in neighboring Assam after they were attacked by Bru refugees from Mizoram living in the state.

According to reports, the clashes took place between Bru people living in the Casco relief camp in the Damcherra area and people from Chorei, Tripuri, and Halam communities on July 26 over the possession of forest land in the area.

The people from the Bru community, also known as Reang, were displaced by the Mizos from Mizoram in 1997 following large-scale violence against them, and have been living in relief camps in Tripura since then.

However, after the efforts to repatriate them to Mizoram by the central govt had failed, last year it was decided that they will be permanently settled in Tripura.

Furthermore, locals allege that since that decision in January last year, the Bru people have been dominating the natural resources in the areas where their camps are located.

The Brus have been objecting to the local people farming on the forestland, patta of which was given under Forest Rights Act by the government.

Efforts by the administration to resolve the conflict had produced no results.

Locals on repossession of the land

On 26 July the locals went to take possession of the land, they were allegedly attacked by the Brus living in the Casco camp.

The locals had also objected to the Bru people opening shops in the area. When they asked the Brus to close the shops, they refused and started a verbal confrontation, which soon escalated.

According to the police, 32 people were injured in the attack. The police had to fire in the air after arriving at the spot to end the violence.

The injured have been admitted to the hospital.

After the locals from Tripura took shelter in Assam, the district administration of Karimganj contacted their counterparts in North Tripura to inform them about the situation.

North Tripura Superintendent of Police Bhanupada Chakraborty informed that some villagers have also taken shelter in markets in the affected villages.

He said the situation has calmed down now but the administration has continued with section 144 of CrPC in the area to defuse the tension.

Post situation after triparty agreement

Around 30,000 Bru refugees are living in Tripura, and after the triparty agreement in January last year, it was decided to settle them in Tripura as the Brus and the Mizos didn’t agree on terms of repartition.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb had written to the Union home ministry offering to settle the Bru people in the state. Deb had said that 5,082 families continue to live in camps as they refuse to go back to Mizoram, and hence they should be allowed to settle in Tripura.

Accordingly, the process of rehabilitating the Brus in Tripura have started early this year, and many of them have been rehabilitated in different parts of the state.

According to the decision taken in the triparty meeting, they will be given 40×30 square feet residential plots, a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakhs, case aid of Rs 5,000 per month for two years, free ration for two years, and Rs 1.5 lakh aid to build their house.

They will also get Tribal status and will have voting rights in Tripura.

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