New Delhi: Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah presided over the signing of an agreement between Government of India, Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru-Reang representatives in New Delhi today, to end the 23-year old Bru-Reang refugee crisis. Present on the occasion were Chief Minister of Mizoram, Shri Zoramthanga, CM of Tripura, Shri Biplab Kumar Deb, Chairman, NEDA, Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chairman, TIPRA, Shri Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, representatives of Bru tribes, along with senior officers.
This historic agreement is in line with PM Modi’s vision for the progress of the North East and the empowerment of the people of the region. Ever since taking office, PM Modi has initiated numerous policy level interventions that have improved infrastructure, connectivity, economic growth, tourism and social development of the region.
Briefing the media, Shri Shah said that under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi a permanent solution has been arrived to this long standing issue of rehabilitating thousands of Bru-Reang people in Tripura and they can now look towards a bright future. Under the new agreement, he informed, around 34,000 Bru refugees will be settled in Tripura and would be given aid from the Centre to help with their rehabilitation and all round development, through a package of around Rs 600 crores. These people would get all the rights that normal residents of the States get and they would now be able to enjoy the benefits of social welfare schemes of Centre and State governments. The settlement has been reached after detailed discussions held by Union government with the State governments of Mizoram and Tripura and the representatives of Bru tribes and it was decided that the Bru refugees, he added.
The Home Minister informed that under the new arrangement, each of the displaced families would be given 40×30 sq.ft. residential plots, in addition to the aid under earlier agreement of a fixed deposit of Rs. 4 lakhs, Rs. 5,000 cash aid per month for 2 years, free ration for 2 years and Rs. 1.5 lakhs aid to build their house. The government of Tripura would provide the land under this agreement.
Shri Shah mentioned about how the North East is being put on the track of fast paced development under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi. He talked about the recent surrender of 88 armed insurgents of the NLFT(SD) group and assimilating them into the mainstream. This major step, along with the Bru-Reang agreement today, is important milestones in bringing fast paced development to the State of Tripura. Soon, a lasting peace would be established in the whole of the North East under Prime Minister’s leadership, he added.
In 1997, following ethnic tension, around 5,000 families comprising around 30,000 Bru-Reang tribals were forced to flee Mizoram and seek shelter in Tripura. These people were housed in temporary camps at Kanchanpur, in North Tripura.
Since 2010, Government of India has been making sustained efforts to permanently rehabilitate these refugees. The Union government has been assisting the two State governments for taking the care of the refugees. Till 2014, 1622 Bru-Reang families returned to Mizoram in different batches.
On 3rd July, 2018, an agreement was signed between the Union government, the two State governments and representatives of Bru-Reang refugees, as a result of which the aid given to these families was increased substantially. Subsequently, 328 families comprising of 1369 individuals returned to Mizoram under the agreement. There had been a sustained demand of most Bru-Reang families that they may be allowed to settle down in Tripura, considering their apprehensions about their security.