Tripura State Rifles (TSR) personnel on Saturday morning opened fire at people protesting against the resettlement of Bru-Reang refugees in the state’s Kanchanpur sub-division, killing one person and injuring five.
The victim has been identified as a member of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC), which has been spearheading the movement against the resettlement of these refugees in the sub-division.
The JMC, a platform of local Bengali and Mizo residents, had called for an indefinite strike in Kanchanpur as they believed the resettlement of 30,000 Brus will further damage the already fragile ecology of the region.
Although section 144 had also been imposed in the sub-division, agitators in large numbers took to the streets defying the order during the past few days.
Four of the injured have been admitted to the district hospital in Dharmanagar, while another has been taken to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital in Silchar in Assam.
The Bru-Reang people fled Mizoram in 1997 after being persecuted in an ethnic clash and have been living in six refugee camps in the North Tripura district.
The decision to rehabilitate these refugees by resettling them in Tripura was taken after a multi-cornered meeting held in New Delhi in January this year in presence of Union home minister Amit Shah.
The central government has also announced a fund of rupees 600 crores to the state government for rehabilitation of these refugees.
On the other hand, protesters set fire to tires and blocked roads in several places of the sub-division.
They also ransacked several vehicles, setting them on fire.
JMC leader, Sushant Bikash Barua said TSR personnel opened fire in front of the Panisagar Holy Cross School without any provocation.
However, a police source said they along with TSR jawans were prepared to prevent the JMC from blocking the national highway on Saturday again.
The exact circumstances under which the shooting took place are yet to be known, the source added.