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Tripura: 6 Officials Served Legal Notice for Stopping Ration to Starving Brus

Agartala, November 12, 2019:

Five Tripura officials and one high-ranked official of the MHA were served legal notices for stopping ration and cash doles to the Bru refugee camps in Tripura.

Ali Zia Kabir Choudhury, a lawyer representing the Brus refugees in the Supreme Court, served the legal notice to the 6 government officials.

The officials are Special Secretary of Home minister (Internal security) Dr A P Maheswari, DGP of Tripura Akhil Kumar Shukla, DM of North Tripura district Raval Hamendra Kumar, SDM of Kanchanpur Abhedananda Baidya, SDM of Dharmanagar Subrata Kumar Dash, SDM of Panisagar Lalnunnemi Darlong.

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In 2017, the Supreme Court of India has given an order that, Tripura government could not stop the ration and cash dole supply to the Bru refugee camps and not force the refugees to return to Mizoram, where they originally are from.

According to Ali Zia Kabir, by stopping the ration supply to the camps, the Tripura government has violated the SC order.

In his legal letter, Ali Zia Kabir Choudhury has written, “We have learned that your administration has stopped the ration, cash dole, and such other critical relief services at the seven Bru IDP relief camps in Tripura, creating a dire circumstance for the refugees, resulting, so far, in the death due to starvations of six persons, among others… addition, it is learned that you are threatening to close the relief camps on 30.11.2019 and then there are reports of sporadic violence by the police authorities against the IDPs”, the notice reads.

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It is notable that, From 1st October this year, the central government has stopped the ration commodities supply to the refugee camps. The central government has decided that they will not continue the refugee camps at Kanchanpur anymore. Protesting the move, the refugees started road blockade and agitation program at Kanchanpur from 31 Oct onwards.

On November 7, after eight days of protests, a high power ministerial team went to Kanchanpur on 7 November to sort out the tangled repatriation process of Bru refugees from Mizoram, stranded in North Tripura.

The team comprise deputy chief minister Jishnu Debbarma, education minister Ratan Lal Nath, among others. After the meeting, the Deputy CM announced that the state government will provide ration to the camps. Now, Bru refugees have been withdrawn their road blockade and agitation program.

It is pertinent to mention here that more than 35,000 Bru refugees are staying in different refugee camps at Kanchanpur since the last two decades after they fled from Mizoram due to ethnic clash with the Mizos.

The 9th phase of repatriation has started from 1 October this year, however, till date, only 700 people repatriated to Mizoram from Tripura.

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