The Joint Movement Committee (JMC) under the banner of Nagarik Surksha Mancha on Monday started an indefinite strike opposing the resettlement of Bru-Reang refugees in Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura.
The indefinite strike has affected the vehicular movements in Kanchanpur town and different parts of the sub-division.
Offices and markets have remained closed in Kanchanpur sub-division due to the strike.
The protesters organised a rally under the banner of Nagarik Surksha Mancha in Kanchanpur town on Monday morning in support of the strike.
The members of the organisation led picketing in different parts of the sub-division.
Kanchanpur in North Tripura district shares inter-state border with Mizoram.
Since 1997, Bru-Reang people, who were displaced from Mizoram due to ethnic conflict, have been staying in Kanchanpur sub-division in six refugee camps.
The decision on rehabilitation of the Bru-Reang refugees was taken after a multi-cornered meeting held in New Delhi in January this year in presence of Union home minister Amit Shah.
During the meeting, it was decided that the Bru-Reang people, who fled Mizoram and took shelter in North Tripura after the ethnic clash in 1997, would be provided re-settlement in Tripura and the central government would provide financial support to the Tripura government.
The Joint Movement Committee is a platform of local Bengalis, Mizos and other people.
The organisation has been vehemently opposing mass resettlement of Bru-Reang refugees in Kanchanpur sub-division.
The Mancha has already organised several protest programmes and strikes asking the state government not to rehabilitate at Kanchanpur sub-
One of leaders of the Manch, Sushanta Bikash Barua said, “We have already clarified that we will not allow more than 500 families of Bru refuges to be settled in the Kanchanpur sub-division.”
“But the government seems determined to settle 5,000 families of Bru refugees here in Kanchanpur.”
“Already tender process has been initiated for electricity connections and makeshift huts for the Bru refugees. So, we have decided to call for a general strike for an indefinite period in the Kanchanpur sub-division from Monday,” Barua added.
Joint Movement Committee has opposed the government’s decision citing that the mass resettlement would disturb the already fragile ecological balance in the area.
Moreover, the local Bengalis and Mizo people consider Brus as “trouble-makers”.
The indefinite strike has created a sense of panic in the local markets and the people have been spotted collecting essential commodities.