Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya on Monday said the State Government should give up plans to send back the Bru (Reang) refugees to Mizoram.
Also read: Tripura: Two more deaths in Bru camps
“Time has come for us to speak out and I want our Bru/Reang people to get land in our state of Tripura,” Pradyot Kishore said in a Facebook post adding, “Enough is enough.”
Son of Tripura’s last Maharaja Kirit Bikram Manikya and Rajmata Bibhu Devi, Pradyot Kishore recently parted ways with the Congress after being its state unit president for a while.
He is believed to have plans to float a regional party with the avowed objective of upholding the cause of Tripura’s indigenous tribespeople.
“We have become refugees in our own land and it hurts me that we are in this condition because we are not united. The situation of My BRU/Reang people is grave,” the FB post by Pradyot Kishore said.
He claimed he has already sent 1500 kilos of rice, dal and other food items as an emergency for the Brus in the last two days and promised more.
The Tripura government was asked by the Centre to stop food rations to the nearly 30,000 Brus in October after they refused to return to Mizoram, from where they fled into Tripura two decades ago to escape persecution by hardline Mizo groups.
The death of two old women and two children in the Bru camps ( six in all) in North Tripura’s Kanchanpur area recently has provoked an ongoing road blockade in the area.
Leaders of the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum have alleged the deaths were caused by starvation, though state government officials claim the four Brus died of disease.
A legislator of the BJP ally in government has threatened to resign if the government does not resume food rations for the Brus.
Also read: Tripura MLA threatens to quit over Bru issue
Prem Kumar Reang, who hails from the same ethnic stock as the Brus, is an MLA of the Indigenuous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT).
Royal scion Pradyot urged ‘others to help our people in this time of crisis’.
“Today I would like to formally state that if India can accept lakhs of people from Bangladesh through Citizenship Amendment Bill, then why can’t we Tiprasa people accommodate and accept our Reang/Bru people in Tripura from Mizoram,” he said on the FB post.
“If the Govt can consider giving 2700 acres of land for BSF firing Range then why not land for our displaced people?,” Pradyot Kishore asked.
He claims most of these Brus or Reangs originally hail from Tripura, from where they were displaced due to the commissioning of the Gumti hydel project in the 1970s.
That project submerged a huge swathe of agricultural land cultivated by indigenous tribespeople.