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Bru Resettlement: Displaced Bengalis Refuse to Return to Homes Citing 'Fear'

Kanchanpur, March 5, 2020:

With the ultimatum given to the Bengali community members displaced in Kanchanpur, reportedly due to Bru violence to relocate to their homes coming to an end today, many of them are still unwilling to return to their dwellings, fearing a recurrence of the violence that forced them to abandon their domiciles.
Only recently, not less than 7 of the total 93 families returned to their houses following a compensation package announced by the government, however, 86 families are showing no interest in returning.
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Speaking to Inside Northeast, one of the leaders of the displaced people forum, Rathindra Ray said, “Most of our people are not confident enough to return. The left over 300 people belonging to 86 families have the same concern over their future in an area which is largely dominated by the Bru refugees”.
Ray also informed us that the Bengali people have put forth a charter of five demands, which are yet to be taken up seriously by the Government. “We have explicitly put forth five demands so that we can lead our life peacefully in the land where we are born and brought up. Our major demands are rationing services for one year, a permanent camp of central armed forces, arrest of the perpetrators who left us homeless, restoration of Dasda to Ananda Bazar road etc. But, the government is not ready to even fulfill one of them completely.”
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“Deputy Speaker Biswa Bandhu Sen can not assure us of giving any of them. We have been informed that we would get a compensation from the government after a thorough assessment of the destroyed property”, he further complained, adding that Bandhu has also said that a TSR camp could be set up in the area to dissuade further violence.
On the Bru-settlement issue, he said, settling Brus permanently here in Tripura will leave a ripple impact on the state. He further alleged that the tribal Brus have terrified people who use to take Dasda –Anandabazar route, non-tribal locals have been forced to avoid this route after dusk, he added.
On the other hand, Nagarik Suraksha Mancha, a Bengali body fighting for the cause of displaced Bengalis had called for a public rally to press for their demands in the area. The prime demand of the organization is to settle the Brus out of Kanchanpur Sub-division.
“We are astonished by the fact that the state government stupidly agreed to let the refugees stay here even though they had never demanded this ; these refugees have caused lot of damages to the Bengalis as well as the Mizos in Jampui, Sakhantang, Shermoon and Upper Dashda over the past twenty three years by displacing people from the entire Parshurampur village ” said Ranjit Nath, president of the Mancha. He has further resolved to continue protests.
On the other hand, law Minister Ratan Lal Nath has informed the media that the government would give settlements to the Bru refugees in all the eight districts.
“All the 8 district magistrates have finalized spots for giving them settlement. Once the state government takes a final call on the issue, the process would start”, the law minister who is also the cabinet spokesperson said. Notably, the state government just ended the new identification drive undertaken after the New Delhi pact. Now, the total number of inmates in the relief camps stands at 36,261, belonging to 4,874 families.
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