Seeking to put an end to the 23-year-old Bru-Reang refugee crisis, a quadripartite agreement was signed among the Centre, state governments of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru-Reang representatives on 16 January, 2020 to facilitate permanent settlement of Bru refugees in Tripura with a Rs 600-crore rehabilitation package.
The agreement will benefit around 34,000 Bru persons currently living in six camps in Tripura. They were forced to flee from Mizoram following ethnic tension in 1997.
Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah presided over signing of the “historic” pact. Others present included Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga, North-East Democratic Alliance chairman Himanta Biswa Sarma, Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma and Bru representatives.
Shri Shah said that a permanent solution to the issue could be arrived at under the “dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi”. “Bru-Reang people in Tripura can now look towards a bright future,” he said adding that around 34,000 Bru refugees would get residential plots to settle in Tripura, apart from all rights of normal residents and also be eligible for benefits of social welfare and entitlement schemes of the Centre and state government.
While a tripartite pact was signed by the Centre, Mizoram government and Bru representatives in 2018 envisaging repatriation of displaced Bru refugees to Mizoram, barely 328 families returned to Mizoram. The rest, having been living in Tripura for close to three decades, were reluctant to move out.
The Centre thus started fresh negotiations to find a solution to the Bru people’s demand that they be allowed to settle down in Tripura.
Later the Home Minister told news persons that as per the new agreement, each of the Bru families living in Tripura will be given a 40×30 sq ft. residential plot, in addition to a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh, Rs 5,000 cash aid per month for 2 years, free ration for 2 years and Rs 1.5 lakhs aid to build their house. The government of Tripura would provide the land under this agreement.
Assam Minister of Finance and convener of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “The refugees who were living in very poor conditions will now get to live in their own home,” Shri Sarma said after the signing ceremony.
Shri Shah mentioned about how the northeast region is being put on the path of fast-paced development under Modi. He talked about the recent surrender of 88 armed insurgents of the NLFT(SD) group and assimilating them into the mainstream.
This major step, along with the Bru-Reang agreement today, is an important milestone in bringing fast-paced development to the state of Tripura, he said.
PM Modi hails agreement to permanently settle Bru-Reang refugees
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi welcomed the agreement to permanently settle the Bru-Reang refugees in Tripura on Thursday, saying it will “greatly help” them.
He also said the Bru-Reang refugees will benefit from numerous welfare schemes of the government.
“A special day indeed,” Modi wrote on Twitter.
Committed to the development of the Northeast and it’s citizens! Today’s agreement will greatly help the Bru-Reang refugees. They will also benefit from numerous development schemes. A special day indeed.