Monday, 30th October 2017

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Bru refugees lift blockade

Jishnu Dev Varma on Thursday told the refugees that the government wants to resolve the issue peacefully

By Tanmoy Chakraborty in Agartala
  • Published 8.11.19, 12:19 AM
  • Updated 8.11.19, 12:19 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Tripura deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma meets Bru refugees in Kanchanpur on Thursday. (PTI)

The blockade, launched by Bru refugees on the Dasda-Anandanagar Road in North Tripura on October 31, was lifted around 2.30pm on Thursday following a meeting between the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum’s representatives and the Tripura government at the special police camp in Laxmipur, North district.

The refugees launched the blockade on the Dasda-Anandanagar Road that connects Dasda, Bhandarima, Anandanagar and adjoining areas with the rest of the state, demanding resumption of ration amid the ongoing repatriation to Mizoram since October 1.

Tripura deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma on Thursday told the refugees that the government wants to resolve the issue peacefully. He announced that the ration supply will be resumed for the refugees. Dev Varma said he invited the leaders for a dialogue in Agartala to decide on a formula for their return.

A team, including the deputy chief minister, education minister Ratan Lal Nath, social welfare minister Shantana Chakma, tribal welfare minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia, West Tripura MP Pratima Bhowmick and East Tripura MP Rebati Tripura met the refugees on Thursday and held the meeting with the Forum leaders.

Laxmipur special police officer and North district magistrate Reval H. Kumar, sub-division magistrate Abhedananda Baidya and North district superintendent of police Bhanupada Chakraborty also attended the meeting.

“Today, we held a meeting with the delegations of the state government. They said they will resume ration for the refugees. We are happy with the government’s decision and therefore, lifted the blockade,” said general secretary of the Forum, Bruno Msha.

However, Msha said resumption of cash doles and ration is not the solution and the Mizoram government will have to create a conducive atmosphere for repatriation.

“Getting the food supplies till November 30 will not solve our issue. The problem can be sorted out through talks with the Mizoram government. A team of the Bru migrants’ leaders went to New Delhi today to meet Union home minister Amit Shah over the repatriation agreement signed in June 2018,” he added.

The Centre stopped the rations and other relief materials after the refugees refused to go back to Mizoram. Despite imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC, the refugees continued their blockade since October 31.

The Bru leaders also alleged that so far six persons, including four infants and two 60-year-old women, died of starvation.

North chief medical officer Dr Jagadish Nama said so far three persons have died in the camps.

A total of 700 Bru refugees have been repatriated to Mizoram so far from six relief camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-division of North Tripura.

Over 37,000 Brus had fled Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram during the ethnic clashes in 1997.