Wednesday, May 19, 2021
North East

Bru migrants fear hostility in aftermath of CAA protests

Agartala, December 22: Complaining there is a sense of distrust and hostility from non-tribals in the aftermath of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, Bru migrants from Mizoram, who are living in Tripura for last 22 years, have asked the local administration to hold peace meetings and allay fears of ethnic tension.
“..thousands of people from different social and political organizations have launched agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the recent past. Here also in Kanchanpur sub-division, such protest was joined by indigenous tribal local residents, resulting some minor incidents occurring between tribal and non-tribal people in some places”, Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Fprum (MBDPF) president Apeto Sawibunga wrote to North Tripura District Magistrate Raval Hamendra Kumar.
He claimed a section of non-tribal people from Kanchanpur “took advantage of the situation” and “manipulated” the issue to blame the displaced Brus over the violence. The Bru leader also said that migrants living in the camps are anxious due to the prevailing situation.
During the indefinite strike called by Joint Movement Against CAB (JMACAB), a collective platform of tribal parties and social organizations, on December 09, violence was reported from parts of Sipahijala, Dhalai and North Tripura districts. Kanchanpur also witnessed violence as a group of agitated protesters set a few vehicles ablaze and ransacked several shops. The local administration imposed section 144 and deployed police and para-military contingents to contain the situation.
As situation improved, Unnayan Mancha and Bangali Oikya Mancha, two newly born non-tribal organizations, called for an indefinite strike demanding punishment for those involved in the violenc and compensation for the affected people. They also claimed Bru migrants were involved in demaging public and private property during the anti-CAA agitation and demanded their immediate repatriation.
In subsequent days, few tribals have complained they were denied access to local shops due to their ethnic identity.
MBDPF general secretary Bruno Msha told indian express.com that a few people from non-tribal communities, especially Bengalis, have “outrageously” expressed anguish and ill-feeling against displaced Brus at a peace meeting held at Dasda Town Hall on December 13. The Brus were not invited in the meeting.
“Furthermore, they made announcements using public adress systems across towns and villages under Kanchanpursub-division to escalate tension and to instill a feeling of hatred and hostility towards the displaced Brus,” Bruno said.
Terming the situation “extremely unfortunate”, the Bru leader said the migrants feel it is necessary to allay fears of those living in the camps in front of government officials. Or else ‘tension and antagonism’ might take any ‘untoward turn’ at any point, he said.
Reacting to the issue, Kanchanpur Sub Divisional Magistrate Abhedananda Baidya said, “We have got letter. They wanted to have a peace meeting. But the meeting will have to be held after December 25 as Christmas celebrations will keep many of them busy. The administration will hold peace meeting wherever they want it to be done.”
Kanchanpur Police Station Officer-in-charge Paritosh Das said that the situation is largely peaceful.
“Several families took shelters in few camps after the clash occurred on December 10 during the strike period. Condition is much improved now. People have left the camps and went back home”,m the official informed.
He added that the police has registered an FIR against 26 persons, who are suspected of being involved with the clashes. “We are collecting CCTV footage to check whether any Bru migrant as engaged in it or not. An investigation is going on”, the police officer stated. (Courtesy: IE)

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