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1500 Tripura villagers fled to Assam following attacks of displaced Brus of Mizoram

These villagers have taken shelter in local markets in the affected villages, told Superintendent of Police (North) Bhanupada Chakraborty.

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Agartala: Around 1500 people of different villages of Damcherra along Tripura-Mizoram border in North Tripura reportedly fled away to nearby locations of Karimganj district in Assam following a clash between displaced Brus of Mizoram and indigenous communities of Tripura two days ago.
These villagers have taken shelter in local markets in the affected villages, told Superintendent of Police (North) Bhanupada Chakraborty.
He said the situation has calmed down and life became normal but the administration has continued with section 144 of CrPC in the area to defuse the tension. He said there was information that some people of the Halam community have left their habitations and taken shelter in nearby villages of Assam.
“We are in the job to find them out and bring them back to their homes. However, we have initiated the investigation into the incidents and the law will take its own course inappropriate time. Now, our effort is to keep normalcy in the villages and maintain peace apart from resolving the issues whatever it is,” Chakraborty stated.
According to the report, following series of alleged attacks by displaced Brus of Mizoram lodging in Casco relief camp on indigenous Charai, Tripuri and Halam communities over possession of forestland on July 26 last, the minority Halam and Charai families crossed over the River Longai and took shelter in Manikbandh, Uricherra and Magura villages of Assam.
However, with the help of local administration there, the families have been provided shelter in schools and community properties. The local people have arranged food and other essentials for the families. A team of officials headed by Additional District Magistrate Karimganj had visited the distressed people sheltered in the school and arranged relief. They have taken up the matter with their counterparts in North Tripura, sources said.
The villagers complained that Brus have been triggering violence around all six of their relief camps at frequent intervals intending to disturb the normal life and triggering panic; so that after sometimes the indigenous inhabitants of the areas would voluntarily leave the villages, which they would eventually capture and on several occasions Brus had expressed this intention.
“A year after Brus displaced from Western Mizoram in 1997 because of their non-compromising attitude and invading behaviour towards indigenous Mizo community, they have been harassing and committing atrocities on the local people of both tribals and non-tribals and in 23 years 70 per cent of the non-tribal families left their homes and hearths and shifted to other parts. Now, they want to evict the local tribals and capture the land,” Birmani Halam, a local trader, told media.
He pointed out that entire indigenous communities including Mizos and Bangalees had been opposing the quadripartite agreement of the Union Home Ministry to rehabilitate Mizoram Brus in several locations of Tripura on a cluster basis. But Tripura government didn’t realise the future of such rehabilitation of internally displaced people in the state, which is overpopulated and has been suffering from internal problems, Halam pointed out.
“Casco is one of such spots where the relief camp of Brus is there and also, the state government selected the area to give cluster based rehabilitation of displaced Brus ignoring our united voice. When Brus got confirmation that the state government is sympathetic to them, they now resorted to attack on us to evict us from our ancestral land,” Halam added.
The Brus living in Casco relief camp have been objecting the local tribals to do farming in the forestland, patta of which was given under Forest Right Act by the government. The administration has also held several meetings to sort out the issue but yielded no result and on July 26 when locals had gone to possess the land, allegedly they were attacked and left 32 people injured, police said.

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