After implementing the amended citizenship law (CAA) in the country, the Narendra Modi government has taken one of the next logical steps of securing the lives of persecuted minorities, with Home Minister Amit Shah and representatives of Bru refugees signing an agreement during a meeting held in New Delhi where the governments of Tripura and Mizoram were represented too. The Home Minister said that about 30,000 Bru refugees would be inhabited in Tripura. He also announced a package of Rs 600 crore for the beleaguered community.
After incidents of violence in Mizoram in 1997, people of the Bru tribe fled and took refuge in camps in Tripura. They have been living there for the last 22 years.
The home minister has said that 40 x 30 sq feet plots will be given to every Bru refugee. They will be given a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh each too.
Shah said that for two years, they will get monetary assistance by way of Rs 5,000 every month. Apart from this, rationed items will be given for free.
Chief ministers of Tripura and Mizoram were present in this meeting.
The people of the Bru tribe had been demanding their rights for a long time. A separate booth was built for them during the last election.
The Bru community lives mainly in Tripura, Mizoram and Assam. Violent clashes between the Bru and Mizo tribes began in 1995. After this, they started living in camps in Tripura.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb described the solution to the problem of Bru refugees as a historic step. He thanked Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah for this.
Chief Minister of Mizoram Zoramthanga expressed happiness over the decision taken for the Bru refugees. After signing the agreement, the chief minister of Mizoram said, ‘Today we have signed a very important agreement with the Bru leaders, Tripura government and Mizoram government. It will solve a burning issue of 25 years forever.”
In September 2019, the union government had approved an amount of Rs 350 crore for the ninth phase of repatriation of the community from six relief camps of neighbouring Tripura, a senior home department official said. The approval had come during a Joint Monitoring Group meeting on Bru repatriation, chaired by the special secretary (internal security), Ministry of Home Affairs, AP Maheswari, in Delhi on Friday, Mizoram home secretary Lalbiakzama had said. The state had in August 2019 identified 4,447 Bru families for the exercise, scheduled to begin on 1 October, he said.
About Bru tribe
The Reangs (aka Bru in Tripura and Mizoram) are one of the 21 Scheduled Tribes of the Indian state of Tripura. The Bru can be found all over the Tripura state in India. However, they may also be found in Mizoram and Assam. They speak the Reang dialect of Bru language which is of Tibeto-Burmese origin and is locally referred to as Kau Bru.
Recently, following the Union Home Ministry’s decision to give voting rights to around 30,000 people who had fled from Mizoram to Tripura in 1997 in the wake of inter-community violence, The Election Commission has asked the State of Mizoram to revise its rolls for the poll this year and include the members of the internally-displaced community. As many as 32,876 people of the Reang tribe are set to be repatriated to Mizoram after a tripartite agreement was signed between the Centre, Tripura and Mizoram.
The majority of the Reang belong to the Vaishnava school of Hinduism and claim Kshatriya status. A growing number of Christians exists in both Tripura and Mizoram.