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Sun, 08 Dec 2019

Northeast Today

Bru refugees lift road blockade

Bru refugees lift road blockade
November 08
12:03 2019

NET Bureau

The Bru refugees on Thursday withdrew their eight-day-long road blockade following an assurance from the Tripura government regarding resumption of supply of free ration.

The Bru refugees were staging the road blockade under the banner of Mizoram Bru Displaced People Forum (MBDPF) since October 31.
A delegation of the Tripura government led by Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma reached the blockade spot at Kanchanpur on Thursday and held a meeting with the Bru leaders to end the impasse. Official sources said that the Deputy Chief Minister said that the State government would resume supply of free ration to the refugees from its own resources.

Besides, he also assured them that both the State and the Central governments will jointly try to sort out the glitches in the repatriation process. Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath, MP Pratima Bhowmik and MP Rebati Kumar Tripura also spoke along the same lines and gave assurances on behalf of the State government.

Finally, the leaders of Bru refugees agreed to lift their road blockade.

It was learnt that the Bru leaders would be called for a meeting in Agartala to find an amicable solution to the vexed problem.

Apart from this, a Congress delegation, comprising Pijush Biswas, Subal Bhowmik, Prakash Das and Baptu Chakraborty, visited the blockade site on Thursday and distributed rice and pulses among the refugees.

Earlier, a delegation of CPI (M) led by former MP Jiten Chowdhury and ADC chief executive member (CEM) Radha Charan Debbarma also visited the blockade spot and held discussions with the refugee leaders.

Sources adds: Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Panisagar Lalnunnemi Darlong and SDM, Kanchanpur, Abeda Nanda Baidya said that supplies to refugees were stopped on September 30.

The State government had deployed a huge contingent of paramilitary and Tripura State Rifles personnel in Panisagar and Kanchanpur subdivisions, where over 35,000 Bru refugees are sheltered in relief camps since October 1997 after they fled their villages in Mizoram in the wake of communal tension.

The district administration also promulgated Section 144 CrPC to prohibit gathering of people in the tense tribal-inhabited areas, 175 km north of Agartala.

Former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh, who is leading a six-member Congress delegation to northeast to gather views on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), told the media here on Wednesday, “It is a gross humanitarian violation to stop supply of food and relief to them.”

The refugees were blockading vital roads since October 31 demanding resumption of supplies. The Union Home Ministry through the Tripura government has spent around Rs 900 crore to provide relief to them during the past 22 years.

The Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum, in separate letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and North Tripura District Magistrate RH Kumar, had sought resumption of supplies.

Source: The Assam Tribune

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