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NGT issues notice to the Tripura government over Bru resettlement

GUWAHATI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued a notice to the Tripura government and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change requesting a response on the resettlement of displaced Brus in forest areas of North Tripura district.

The NGT has ordered Tripura’s Principal Secretary of Forest Department, District Magistrate of North Tripura and other officials to submit a report on the rehabilitation plan by July 14, when the matter will be heard again based on a complaint that the refugees who originally hail from neighbouring Mizoram are being resettled in a forest.

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Dhanishwar Debnath filed a complaint with the NGT on November 4, 2020 citing an e-tender issued by the Tripura government.

The complainant was granted permission to summon the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and the Head of Forest Force.

In January of last year, Bru leaders inked a quadripartite deal with the central, Tripura and Mizoram governments for the resettlement of 40,000 Brus who fled Mizoram in 1997 due to ethnic violence. They were then lodged in six relief camps in Tripura.

As part of the permanent resettlement, 515 of them were transferred out of the camps in North Tripura district in April this year and transported to two locations in the state’s Dhalai district.
The Tripura government had previously stated that the refugees would be resettled in 16 locations across four districts. It has formed four committees to manage the resettlement process.

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