Over 30,000 displaced members of the Bru tribal community from Mizoram, who have resided as refugees since 1997, will be permanently settled in Tripura after an agreement was signed on Thursday, PTI reported. Representatives of the Bru community, the Centre, and Mizoram signed the agreement in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the Secretariat building in Delhi.
“A 23-year-old problem, which has been lingering for so long, has reached its logical conclusion,” Shah said, according to Hindustan Times. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we have been solving one after another complicated problem.”
Under the agreement, Rs 4 lakh will be provided to each Bru family in a fixed deposit account. They will also get Rs 5,000 every month for two years, a plot of land in Tripura and ration for two years. The Centre will allocate Rs 600 crore for this.
Modi described the signing of the agreement as a “special day”. “Committed to the development of the North East and its citizens!” he tweeted. “Today’s agreement will greatly help the Bru-Reang refugees. They will also benefit from numerous development schemes.”
Shah said that members of the Bru community who were living in “sub-human conditions in different camps” will now be able to permanently live in their own homes. He added that they will have equal freedom provided to any Indian citizen in Tripura with voting rights.
“With this agreement, Bru crisis has been resolved and at the same time there will be no political tussle between Mizoram and Tripura government,” Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said, according to Northeast Now.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb said that the refugees were deprived of their basic rights and facilities but will now be settled in his state. Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Tripura’s royal scion Pradyot Deb Barman were also present during the signing.
The Bru refugees have been living in six relief camps in Tripura after they were forced to run away from ethnic violence in Mizoram. Officials said that so far, 216 Bru families have returned to Mizoram from the relief camps since October 3 last year.