‘Must have felt pain living in camps for 23 years’: PM mentions historic Bru agreement in Mann ki Baat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said sincere efforts to hold dialogue and resolve differences peacefully had led to a decline in the insurgency in the northeast and mentioned the resolution of more than two-decades-old Bru refugees crisis, during the 61st edition of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, which coincided with the 71st Republic Day on Sunday.
A quadripartite agreement was signed in New Delhi on January 16 between Tripura, Mizoram, the Centre, and Bru NGOs ending the 23-year old refugee crisis.
The Bru migrants fled from Mizoram to Tripura in the late 1990s and forced to live there in camps. Nearly 35,000 refugees still living in camps in Tripura, will now get a plot of land, rations, a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh, and a monthly stipend of Rs 5,000 for two years under the terms of the agreement. They will also get Rs 1.5 lakh each to construct houses and have the right to vote in Tripura.
The agreement hopes to bring a permanent solution to the Bru crisis after an earlier attempt to return the refugees to Mizoram had failed. It allows the Brus to stay back in Tripura and still get benefits of the package announced for repatriation to Mizoram earlier.
The crisis had its roots in the 1997 demand for an Autonomous District Council for the Brus living in Mizoram which eventually led to an armed movement – the Bru National Liberation Front –sparking riots in Mizoram following an exodus of around 30,000-40,000 Brus from Mizoram to Tripura.
“Their lives in camps for 23 years must have been filled with pain,” the Prime Minister said. He said the government had set aside a sum of Rs 600 crore to provide them assistance.
The Prime Minister also spoke of India’s ambitious manned space mission, Gaganyaan.
“Four candidates, all pilots of the Indian Air Force have been selected for the mission and they will soon depart for Russia for more than a year-long training. One of them will then carry the burden of aspirations to take India to space.” he said.
Prime Minister asked his listeners to make attempts to read more about the Padma awardees whose names were announced yesterday. He said the awards were now, truly representative and transparent.
“Padma Awards are now people-driven, the process is online. We can say that there is a newfound respect for Padma Awards as the process has become transparent,” he said.
Stressing on the importance of fitness, Modi said 65,000 thousand schools had obtained Fit India certificate and the culture of fitness was gaining roots.