Home Minister Amit Shah has been found ‘totally unaware’ about the Bru-Reang refugee issue, and mixed it up with the Bodo issue of Assam.
Amit Shah on Saturday wrote an edit-page article — Undoing 6 decades in 6 years: Modi has turned India into a self-reliant country brimming with self-confidence.
The article primarily highlighted the journey of India in the last six years, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Shah said the Modi government has bridged the gap of six decades in six years and has laid the strong foundation of a self-reliant India.
While praising PM Modi, the Home Minister said, “The Bru-Reang Refugee problem pending for years was also resolved in the first year of Modi 2.0, under the Bodo Accord.”
While writing about the Bru-Reang issue, Amit Shah mixed up the refugee issue of Mizoram and Tripura with the ‘sovereign’ Bodo armed movement of Assam.
The Bru-Reang agreement was signed on January 17 between the Centre, Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru-Reang representatives in New Delhi.
The agreement signing ceremony was presided over by Amit Shah himself, and it was decided that about 34,000 Bru refugees will be settled in Tripura.
In 1997, around 30,000 Bru-Reang tribal people were displaced from Mizoram because of ethnic violence, and had taken refuge in Tripura.
The Bru-Reang refugees stayed in temporary camps in North Tripura. Subsequently, about 2,000 families returned back to Mizoram.
But, the last batch of 34,000 people refused to return to their ancestral villages. They will now be settled in Tripura and the Centre has sanctioned Rs 600 crore for the settlement.
For two years, the refugees will be given the aid of Rs 5000 per month and free ration. They will also get Rs 1.5 lakh aid to build their house, while Tripura government will allot land.
But, Amit Shah mixed up the Bru-Reang Refugee issue with the Bodo Accord.
The Centre, Assam government and four factions of the banned National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) on January 27 had signed the Bodo Accord.
The four NDFB factions led by Ranjan Daimari, Govinda Basumatary, Dhiren Boro and B Saoraigra decided to drop the arms movement for a sovereign Bodoland with the signing of the agreement.
Subsequently, 1,550 cadres also surrendered on January 30 at a colourful ceremony held in Guwahati.
The opposition Congress in Assam was quick to react on Amit Shah’s article.
“It is shocking to read the article by Home Minister Amit Shah. And as Home Minister, he is expected to be aware that the Bru-Reang Refugee is an issue related to Mizoram and Tripura, the Bodo Accord is related to the Bodo community of Assam,” Bobbeeta Sharma, general secretary and senior spokesperson of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, said.
Sharma said is it surprising as to how the Home Minister of India could confuse the Bru-Reang refugees with the Bodo insurgents of Assam.
“Forget about ethnic distinction, what about geographical position?” she questioned.
Either the Home Minister has not been briefed properly by his bureaucrats or the bureaucrats who briefed him did not do his homework, Sharma said.
“Whatever maybe the reason, it only reveals a callous lack of sincere engagement to differentiate one from the other. The whole Northeast seems to be one for them,” Sharma said.