Guwahati, October 27: In a positive turn of events, the Mizoram Bru Indigenous Democratic Movement the Rights body of Brus, has moved United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) seeking urgent and better relief assistance to the internally displaced Bru people lodging in camps in Tripura and to intervene in addressing the issue on mutual understanding.
Claiming the present relief ration and cash-dole amounts are insufficient, MBIDM in a memorandum submitted to UNHCR on Friday stated that the relief rations and cash-dole provided to the displaced Bru are meager and it is difficult to survive with the package.
It needs to be mentioned here that initially, the relief ration was 600gm of rice per head per day for adult members and 300 gm for minors whereas, the initial amount of cash dole was Rs 5 per head per day for an adult member and Rs 2.50 for a minor. The memorandum pointed out that minor members as of 1997 are still getting amounts allocated to minors even when 16 years have elapsed and that there has been no bifurcation made in families. According to the MBIDM, there are presently over 35,000 Bru internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in seven relief camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar of North Tripura district. So far, approximately 800 families have been repatriated in six phases of repatriation initiatives since November 3, 2010. However, due to allegations of lack of proper implementation of repatriation packages, particularly due to non-fulfillment of demands made by the internally displaced Bru Indigenous refugees in terms of formation of a Bru Autonomous council, this has been discontinued. As per sources, the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples’ Coordination Committee (MBDPCC) has refused to come to Mizoram unless the Centre accepted its seven-point charter of demands. Meanwhile, among others, the Bru tribals have demanded the creation of an area development council for the Brus in Mizoram.
The Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), the apex body of Bru refugees lodged in six relief camps in Tripura, has revived their demand for a separate autonomous district council by filing a writ petition in the Supreme Court to this effect. The writ petition, which called for the creation of a separate autonomous district council for the Bru community, is a reversal of the letter written by the forum on May 4, 2016, to the Ministry of Home Affairs, in which it said that it was no longer pressing for autonomy for the community.
It may be noted that earlier back in the year 2016, the MBDPF, in their petition, appealed to the apex court to direct the Government of India to establish an autonomous district council for the Bru community in accordance with Article 244(2) of the Constitution read together with the Sixth Schedule.