The Tripura government on Tuesday resumed supply of ration to Bru relief camps in North Tripura district, nine days after it was stopped, The Indian Express reported. This came a day after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to explain within two weeks why it had stopped supplying the rations, causing starvation deaths in one such shelter.
The supplies will be provided to the migrant community till March 2020, a letter from Tripura’s Additional Revenue Secretary LT Darlong to North Tripura District Magistrate Raval Hamendra Kumar said. The order said the state government had decided to continue the ration, including cash compensation, to the refugees “from the month of November 2019 to March 2020”, according to Hindustan Times.
Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Abhedananda Baidya said he had received the order, adding that the supplies will be provided to the relief camps soon.
Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum General Secretary Bruno Msha thanked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura government in the state. “But we want a permanent solution,” he told The Indian Express. “If there is no chance of returning to Mizoram, staying in camps permanently is not a good future. If the central and state governments agree, we may have to settle in Tripura.”
Msha’s remarks came after Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb sent a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on permanent resettlement of the Bru refugees in the state with a similar package offered to repatriate to Mizoram.
Last month, it was reported that six of the internally displaced people in the camps had died of starvation since ration supplies were stopped on October 1. Supreme Court advocate Ali Zia Kabir Choudhary then issued a legal notice to six officials of the Tripura government.
After rations were stopped, the refugees had blocked roads at Kanchanpur in North Tripura district for seven days from October 31, and ended their protest after the state administration promised to provide ration supplies till November 30. More than 32,000 Bru refugees have been living in six relief camps in Tripura since 1997 after they were forced to flee ethnic violence in Mizoram. The Tripura government planned to repatriate all the refugees to Mizoram by the end of the year, and the ninth phase of repatriation began on October 3.