In a revolutionary decision for the Brus of North Eastern India, the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to repatriate 32000 members of the Bru tribal community, a native of the state of Mizoram, back to their home state. The decision comes 2 decades after they were forced to leave their homes due to ethnic violence in the turbulent state of Mizoram.
After a tripartite agreement was signed between the Ministry of Home Affairs, the government of Mizoram, and the government of Tripura where these refugees were residing, as many as 32876 refugees from 5407 families shall be repatriated before 30th September, according to a spokesperson from the Home Ministry.
The Bru community is a native tribal community from Mizoram, who were once a flourishing majority in districts like Mamit and Kolasib. In 1995 however, their peaceful existence came under threat as the Mizos, who were not only in majority, but also mostly Christian by ethnicity, demanded for the Brus to be stripped of their voting rights, since they were ‘not native’ to Mizoram.
2 years later, a Mizo forest guard was shot dead by unidentified assailants. Blaming it squarely on the Bru community, the violent backlash from their side forced the Brus to leave their homes and take shelter in Tripura, where they were living in refugee camps in pitiable conditions since 1997.
With a change of guard in both the central and the state government [i.e. Tripura], the Brus are all set to return to their native land. The current agreement was signed in the presence of the chief representative of the Bru community, i.e. Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Tripura’s incumbent CM Biplab Kumar Deb and Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla.
As of now, the following measures have been devised for the benefit of the returning Bru community:-
- The Central government will give all kinds of assistance possibly needed by the Bru community to rehabilitate themselves, and shall also address their issues of security, education etc., with assent from both the governments of Mizoram and Tripura.
- A committee under the Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry, Rina Mitra, will coordinate the implementation of this agreement.
- According to a statement by the Tripura government, each displaced family would get a financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh in the form of a fixed deposit.
- The family would get rights to the deposit after three years of continuous living in Mizoram.
- A cash assistance of Rs 5,000 per month would also be given to each family for two years through Direct Benefit Transfer.
To be truthful, nothing can serve better than this to the interests of both the BJP and the NDA led central government. In an age where millions of Indians are forced to live in their own country as refugees, just because a specific community / ethnicity doesn’t accept their presence in their area, this is more than a breeze of fresh air.
With this move, the government has made their stand clear: India is for Indians first. Unlike the past governments that have given a free passage to illegal refugees like Rohingyas, the current government wants to look out for oppressed minorities within the nation first.
Besides, the NDA government has struck two birds with one stone. Not only have they ensured the return of the Bru community to Mizoram, they’ve also added an extra advantage to their kitty, given that a majority of the Brus have been devout Hindus, and the elections are not very far away for Mizoram. We hope that our brothers and sisters from Kashmir, who were wrongfully removed from their homes in the 90s, can return to a normal and peaceful life in their home state.
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