In 4 days of road blockade by hungry Brus, 4 die in Tripura
The Bru refugees have been blocking a road between Dasda and Anandabazar at Kanchanpur in Tripura’s North district from 5am to 5am during these four days to protest the Centre’s decision to stop food and cash benefits.Updated: Nov 04, 2019 05:04 IST
Two children and two elderly women have died inside the camps of Bru refugees till Sunday amid an indefinite road blockade by the displaced persons since October 31.
The Bru refugees have been blocking a road between Dasda and Anandabazar at Kanchanpur in Tripura’s North district from 5am to 5am during these four days to protest the Centre’s decision to stop food and cash benefits to them.
The supplies were stopped two days before the beginning of the ninth phase of repatriation on October 3.
When contacted, Kanchanpur’s sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Abhedananda Baidya confirmed the four deaths, including the two on Sunday.
“A three-month-old infant and a 60-year-old woman died on October 31. Another one-year-old and a 65-year-old woman died on Sunday. All of them died due to some unknown disease,” said Baidya.
Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples’ Forum’s (MBDPF) general secretary Bruno Msha also said that four people have died in the camps.
“Prolonged starvation is the cause of their deaths,” Msha said.
More than 37,000 Bru people had taken shelter in Tripura in 1997 to escape an ethnic clash in Mizoram. Nearly 4000 Bru families live in six camps—three each at Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions of North district, around 200km from state capital Agartala.
After more than two decades, the Centre had signed a pact with Tripura and Mizoram governments and MBDPF, a forum comprising Bru people, in New Delhi on July 3 last year for the repatriation of the refugees.
More than 80 Bru families have been repatriated since October 1 from these six camps. The repatriation process would continue till November 3 this year.
Adult Brus are given Rs 5 per day, minors Rs 2.5, 600 gram of rice every day, three soaps, a pair of slippers a year and a mosquito net every three years under the central rehabilitation package.
The post repatriation agreement also promised Rs 400,000 as fixed deposit, Rs 5000 for a period of two years with Rs 150,000 lakh for the construction of a house to each family and the formation of cluster village.