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Last Updated : Jan 16, 2020 04:58 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Amit Shah may sign Bru agreement today: What is it and why is it significant?

In 1997, after ethnic violence in the region, thousands of Brus were forced out of their homes and settled in Tripura

File image: Reuters
File image: Reuters

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will sign the Bru agreement on January 16, reports suggest.

The agreement, significant as it will end the 22-year-old Bru refugee crisis, will be signed when Shah meets chief ministers of Mizoram and Tripura, along with representatives of the Bru tribes on January 16.

Why is the agreement significant? What new changes will it bring?

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For one thing, the new agreement means the government will help settle around 35,000 Bru refugees in Tripura and will also contribute in their rehabilitation.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had agreed to settle the refugees in November 2019, though according to the 2018 agreement, they were to be settled in Mizoram.

The Brus are spread over an area across parts of Mizoram, Tripura and the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. In 1997, after ethnic violence in the region, thousands of Brus were forced out of their homes and settled in Tripura.

In July 2018, the Centre had then announced signing of a "historic agreement" with the governments of Tripura and Mizoram as a part of which, over 32,876 persons from 5,407 families would be repatriated to Mizoram. These families were then staying in temporary camps in Tripura.

However, after Bru refugees expressed dissatisfaction with certain parts of the agreement, particularly those related to financial assistance, the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples’ Forum (MBDPF), a committee of Bru refugees and one of the signatories to the agreement, had pulled out of the pact on July 17, 2018.

Reports however suggest that it was not the first time that the Centre had been unsuccessful in carrying out the repatriation of the Bru population.

The process, reports suggest, has been going on for a long time — in fact, as long back as 2001 — but had ended each time with some quibbles, and had been largely unsuccessful.

This time, according to a report in The Indian Express, the stakeholders in the issue are expecting a Rs 600 crore package from the Centre. Moreover, individual plots of land will also be provided to each Bru family, in addition to agricultural land. The Bru tribals will also be included in Tripura's voter list, the report adds. Moneycontrol could not independently verify the reports.

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First Published on Jan 16, 2020 04:58 pm
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