Bru Refugees And Their Rehabilitation


02:31 PM

1 min read
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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • Who are Bru refugees?
  • Bru-Reang Refugee Crisis
  • Attempts to resettle the Brus
  • News Summary: Bru Refugees And Their Rehabilitation

Why in news?

  • The Tripura government has allocated land for the rehabilitation of the last batch of Mizoram Bru refugees.
  • These refugees were granted permanent settlement in Tripura through a Home Ministry-initiated quadripartite agreement signed in January 2020.

Bru refugees

  • Brus, also referred to as Reangs, are a tribal community indigenous to northeast India.
  • They have historically resided in parts of Mizoram, Tripura, and Assam.
  • In the state of Tripura, the Brus are a designated Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).
  • While many Brus of Assam and Tripura are Hindu, the Brus of Mizoram converted to Christianity over the years.

Bru-Reang Refugee Crisis

  • Most Brus residing in Tripura today have suffered more than two decades of internal displacement.
    • They were forced to leave their homes due to ethnic persecution, mainly from Mizoram.
  • It all started in 1995, when different groups in Mizoram demanded that Brus be eliminated from Mizoram’s electoral rolls as they were not indigenous inhabitants.
    • Being ethnically distinct from the majority Mizos, the Brus are often referred to as “Vai” in the state, meaning outsiders or non-Mizos.
  • Tensions escalated after the Brus retaliated against the Mizos’ attempts to disenfranchise them.
    • They organized themselves into an armed group, the Bru National Liberation Front, and a political entity, the Bru National Union.
    • They also demanded the creation of a separate Bru Autonomous District Council (ADC) in western Mizoram as per the provisions of the sixth schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • Hence, the resultant ethnic clashes forced many Brus to migrate to neighbouring Tripura in 1997.
    • Today, roughly 35,000 Reangs continue to reside in north Tripura’s Kanchanpur camp as refugees, as per Home Ministry estimates.

Attempts to resettle the Brus

  • Early attempts
    • The state governments, along with the union government have made multiple attempts to send Brus back to their homeland in Mizoram.
    • But until 2014, only an estimated 5,000 individuals, or 1622 Bru-Reang families returned to Mizoram in various batches.
  • Quadripartite pact of 2018
    • In July 2018, the governments of Tripura, Mizoram, and the central government concluded a quadripartite pact with Bru community representatives to resettle refugees in Mizoram.
    • This was however opposed by not only native Mizo groups, but also by the Reangs who feared threats to life and further ethnic repression in their home state.
  • 2020 agreement
    • The four groups once again came together in January 2020 to sign another quadripartite pact to resettle the Brus, this time in the state of Tripura.
    • The central government earmarked a Rs 661 crore package to aid the rehabilitation efforts.
    • The Bru families were promised:
      • a residential plot,
      • a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh,
      • Rs 1.5 lakh grant to construct their houses,
      • free ration and monthly stipend of Rs 5,000 for a period of two years.
    • Additionally, the renewed 2020 pact also promised to include the displaced Reangs in the electoral rolls in Tripura.

News Summary: Bru Refugees And Their Rehabilitation

  • The Tripura government has allocated land for the rehabilitation of the last batch of Mizoram Bru refugee.
  • As per the agreement, a total of 6,959 Bru tribe families comprising 37,136 persons, were to be permanently settled in 12 different locations across four districts in Tripura.
  • The settlement process has now been completed with the State government identifying and allocating land for the final group of refugees.

Q1) What is Autonomous District Council (ADC)?

An Autonomous District Council (ADC) is an administrative division of India that has the power to levy taxes and fees. The Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution provides for 10 ADCs in four states: Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Mizoram.

Q2) What is Reang?

 Reang is a Bru clan of the Northeast Indian state. The Reangs can be found all over the Tripura state in India. However, they may also be found in Assam and Mizoram. They speak the Kaubru language.

Source: Last batch of Mizoram Bru refugees permanently settled in Tripura | Outlook | The Hindu