The Bru refugees in North Tripura district have demanded that the Tripura government enroll their names in the state’s voters’ list.

They also demanded they be accorded with the scheduled tribe and permanent resident status.

Ration cards also featured among their major demands.

The Brus, who were displaced from Mizoram due to ethnic conflict have been staying in six refugee camps in the district’s Kanchanpur sub-division since 1997.

The Tripura government has already begun the process of rehabilitating 33,000 displaced Brus from the neighbouring Mizoram.

The Bru refugee leaders had a meeting with the state chief secretary at Agartala on Monday.

Royal scion, Kirit Pradyot Kishore Manikya Deb Barman acted as the mediator.

During the meeting, the refugee leaders submitted a memorandum stating their various demands before the chief secretary.

The Centre has announced a package of Rs 600 crores for their settlement in the state.

Of the package, Rs 150 lakhs will be given to the Tripura government for land acquisition, and the remaining amount will be spent on their development.

The Brus traditionally follow the unscientific “Jhum” (slash and burn) method of cultivation.

Meanwhile, the Joint Movement Committee, a platform of local Bengalis and Mizo people has called for an indefinite strike on Monday to oppose the mass resettlement of these refugees at Kanchanpur.

Mass resettlement will disturb the already fragile ecological balance in the area, the committee said.

Kanchanpur sub-judicial magistrate,  Chandrani Chandran negotiated the matter with the JMC.

However, the agitators were unwilling to withdraw the strike.

NE NOW NEWS

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