Opposition to Permanent Bru Settlement in Tripura
- 04 May 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
In the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown, two community-specific groups have renewed their opposition to the permanent settlement of Bru refugees from Mizoram in Tripura.
- The two groups namely, Nagarik Suraksha Mancha (mostly representing Bengali people displaced from erstwhile East Pakistan post-partition in 1947) and the Mizo Convention have submitted a memorandum protesting against the proposed settlement of the displaced Brus in Tripura.
- Bru or Reang is a community indigenous to Northeast India, living mostly in Tripura, Mizoram and Assam. In Tripura, they are recognised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group.
- In Mizoram, they have been targeted by groups that do not consider them indigenous to the state. In 1997, following ethnic clashes, nearly 37,000 Brus fled Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram and were accommodated in relief camps in Tripura.
- Since then, 5,000 have returned to Mizoram in eight phases of repatriation, while 32,000 still live in six relief camps in North Tripura.
- In June 2018, community leaders from the Bru camps signed an agreement with the Centre and the two state governments, providing for repatriation in Mizoram. But most camp residents rejected the terms of the agreement.
- The camp residents say that the agreement doesn't guarantee their safety in Mizoram.
- The Centre, the governments of Mizoram and Tripura and leaders of Bru organisations signed a quadripartite agreement in January (2020) to let the remaining 35,000 refugees who have stayed back to be resettled in Tripura.
- The rehabilitation package offered included financial assistance of ₹4 lakh and land for constructing a house for each family.
Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups
- In India, tribal population makes up for 8.6% of the total population.
- Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) are more vulnerable among the tribal groups.
- In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups. In 2006, the Government of India renamed the PTGs as PVTGs.
- PVTGs have some basic characteristics - they are mostly homogenous, with a small population, relatively physically isolated, absence of written language, relatively simple technology and a slower rate of change etc.
- Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha.