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Around 34,000 Bru refugees to get a permanent home in Tripura | Agartala News

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NEW DELHI: Seeking to put an end to the 23-year-old Bru-Reang refugee crisis, a quadripartite agreement was signed among the Centre, the state governments of Tripura and Mizoram, and Bru-Reang representatives on Thursday to facilitate permanent settlement of Bru refugees in Tripura with a Rs 600 crore rehabilitation package.

The agreement will benefit around 34,000 Bru refugees living in six camps in Tripura. They were forced to flee Mizoram following ethnic tension in 1997.

Home minister Amit Shah presided over signing of the “historic” pact. Others present included Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb, Mizoram CM Zoramthanga, North-East Democratic Alliance chairman Himanta Biswa Sarma, Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma and Bru representatives.

Shah said a permanent solution to the issue could be arrived at under the “dynamic leadership of PM Narendra Modi”. “Bru-Reang people in Tripura can now look towards a bright future,” he said, adding that around 34,000 Bru refugees would get residential plots to settle in Tripura, apart from all rights of regular residents and they would also be eligible for social welfare and entitlement schemes of the Centre and state government.

While a tripartite pact was signed by the Centre, Mizoram government and Bru representatives in 2018 envisaging repatriation of displaced Bru refugees to Mizoram, barely 328 families returned. The rest, living in Tripura for over two decades, were reluctant to move out.

The Centre then started fresh negotiations to find a solution to the Bru people’s demand that they be allowed to settle down in Tripura.

Shah told the media that as per the new agreement, each Bru family living in Tripura would be given a 40×30 sqft residential plot, in addition to a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh, Rs 5,000 cash aid per month for two years, free ration for two years and Rs 1.5 lakh aid to build a house. The Tripura government would provide the land under this agreement.

Himanta Sarma commended the Tripura CM for pledging the land. “The refugees who were living in very poor conditions will now get to live in their own home,” he said after the signing ceremony.

Times of India

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