Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga has written to Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb opposing re-settlement of the Bru refugees near the traditional habitat of the Mizos in Jampui.
The Mizoram chief minister’s stand on the Brus’ re-settlement came on Saturday when hundreds of Mizo residents from Jampui Hills staged protests against the Bru refugees’ proposed settlement in the area.
Zoramthanga requested Deb to reconsider the decision of the Tripura government.
Jampui hill is in North Tripura district along the border with Mizoram.
The letter was dashed off on Saturday when an administrative team along with Bru representatives went to visit the proposed site of re-settlement at Anandabazaar CCRF area.
In the letter, the Mizoram chief minister wrote: “I am given to understand that there is a proposal for re-settlement of a good number of displaced Brus residing in Tripura at Mizo-inhabited Zampui Hills and surrounding areas under Kanchanpur Sub-Division in North Tripura.”
“As you are no doubt aware, there has been ethnic tension and upheaval between Mizos and Brus, both in Mizoram and Tripura and any strain between the two communities in Tripura will no doubt have repercussions in Mizoram,” Zoramthanga said in the letter.
This “could defeat the very purpose and spirit of the Agreement signed between representatives of the Bru community, Chairman TIPRA, Chief Secretary of Tripura, Chief Secretary of Mizoram, Joint Secretary (Ministry of Home Affairs) on 16.1.2020”, the Mizoram CM said in the letter.
Highlighting the ethnic tension, Zoramthanga requested the Tripura chief minister “to immediately reconsider and cancel the proposal for re-settlement of displaced Brus at the traditional habitat of the Mizos i.e. Jampui Hills and surrounding areas in North Tripura.”
“Mention may also be made of the sad fact that Mizos in four villages of Sakhan Hills had fled their traditional villages due to tensions with Brus displaced from Mizoram, back in 1998,” Zoramthanga mentioned in the letter.
The Mizoram chief minister urged his Tripura counterpart to cancel the proposed re-settlement of displaced Brus amidst Mizo traditional settlers of Zampui hill area and make arrangement in “other appropriate locations”.
On Saturday, an administrative team along with Bru representatives visited Anandabazaar CCRF area and later proceeded to Phuldengshei via Vandarima and Konpui.
However, local Mizo people blocked the road to prevent the proposed visit.
Regarding the protests by local Mizos, Tripura Mizo Convention leader Dr Z Pachuau said, “Our protest started from 8 am today and continued till 4.30 pm. Braving inclement weather, thousands of Jampui Hill people joined the protest.”
Bru leader Bruno Msha said, “We, the Bru people, will prove ourselves good citizens of Tripura. Only a section of people are spreading baseless allegations like involvement of Bru people in protest during CAA agitation.”