No more repatriation of Brus in future, Amit Shah promises

Aizawl: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured a delegation from Mizoram that repatriation of Brus from Tripura to Mizoram would not be conducted in future as the ninth round of the process which ended on 30 November was the ‘last and final exercise’, a ZPM leader said today.

The delegation, comprising leaders of political parties, civil societies and student bodies, was informed by Shah that no efforts would be made to bring back the Brus from the relief camps in Tripura to Mizoram and the remaining Brus would become citizens of Tripura, K Sapdanga general secretary of the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), has claimed.

Sapdanga was member of the delegation which met the home minister on 29 November. Altogether 1,165 Brus, belonging to 289 families, returned to Mizoram from the six relief camps of Tripura during the ninth round of the government-sponsored repatriation exercise, a state home department official had said.

The repatriation exercise was the final attempt at bringing back the 4,447 Bru families – identified by the State as its bona fide residents who fled to the neighbouring State during an ethnic clash over two decades ago, he said.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had earlier written to the Union Home Minister to allow the Brus, who refused to return to Mizoram, to stay back in Tripura.

Tripuras royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Deb Barman had said on Saturday, ‘Union Home Minister Amit Shahji has assured me of providing patta land for the Bru/Reang community in Kanchanpur under North Tripura district.’
Deb Barman had said this in a social media post after attending a meeting chaired by Shah on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Tripura Chief Minister was present at the meeting. Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya Sarbananda Sonowal, Pema Khandu and Conrad Sangma respectively, Union minister Kiren Rijiju, several MPs had attended the meetings separately.

Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana, while welcoming the proposal to allow the Brus remaining in the relief camps to settle in Tripura, said that the Brus, who wanted to stay in Tripura should be allowed to do so and the rehabilitation package be extended like those repatriated to Mizoram.
As part of the rehabilitation package, the Centre had promised to deposit Rs 4 lakh in the bank account of every repatriated family, along with a sum of Rs 1.5 lakh as housing assistance, free ration and Rs 5,000 per month for a period of two years.

Sapdanga also claimed that the home minister had assured the delegation that two battalions of central armed police force, comprising only Mizos, would be raised to protect the international borders which Mizoram shares with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

“Shah said that an Inner Line Permit (ILP) system would be included as a provisio in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that will result in better safeguard for the States where ILP is in force while the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be useful for protection from illegal influx of foreigners,” he said.

While welcoming the proposal to end the repatriation of Brus, raising of two CAPF battalions and inclusion of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the Constitution as a provisio, the delegation is learnt to have expressed its inability to accept the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as the ILP does not have any connection with the CAB, sources said.