Tripura to continue Bru refugee settlement despite COVID-19 surge in State

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb gave the assurance after visiting Hadukuluk Para in Dhalai district where the first batch of evacuees was given permanent settlement.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb announced that the process of settlement of Mizoram Bru refugees in Tripura would continue despite the surge in COVID-19 cases. He gave the assurance on Thursday after visiting Hadukuluk Para in Dhalai district where the first batch of evacuees was given permanent settlement in pursuance with a quadripartite accord signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on January 16 last year.

The shifting of the refugees from the makeshift camps in Kanchanpur of north Tripura district got under way on April 20 last. The first batch comprising 515 evacuees were sent to Hadukuluk Para, one of locations marked for permanent settlement of some 35,000 Brus who fled ethnic tension in Mizoram in 1997.

The Tripura government has selected 16 places spread over four districts for the settlement purpose.

Mr. Deb during his visit inspected drinking water, sanitation and sewerage facilities at the new settlement compound. He also interacted with the settlers and passed necessary instructions on to accompanying officials.

Later speaking to mediapersons, Mr. Deb thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for their support to end a 23-year-old humanitarian issue. He also sought cooperation from the Bru refugees to make the settlement programme a success.

The quadripartite accord came as a last resort to end years of impasse after the displaced Brus foiled many attempts to repatriate them to Mizoram. They repeatedly argued that situation in Mizoram was not conducive to live and alleged receiving threats from Mizo hardline groups.

Rehabilitation package

The Home Ministry has committed to incur the whole expenditure of settlement and the package assured in the accord that each refugee family would get a plot, a fixed deposit of ₹4 lakh, free ration and a monthly stipend of ₹5,000 for two years.

In addition, each family will receive ₹1.5 lakh to construct a house.

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