Agartala: The indefinite general strike against the resettlement of displaced Bru people from Mizoram in Kanchanpur of North Tripura has been continuing on the sixth day, crippled normal life and hit the food stock. Besides, anti-Bru movement, hundreds of poor villagers came out on the road demanding food.
They threatened to block the Assam-Agartala national highway unless the government provided them food and other amenities. The Joint Movement Committee (JMC) however, stated that they would not allow settlement of more than 500 displaced Bru families in Kanchanpur sub-division to maintain ethnic balance.
Leaders of all the political parties, students and women joined the movement, which made life standstill. The demonstrators’ had gheraoed the office of the sub-divisional magistrate in Kanchanpur yesterday demanding immediate arrest of the culprits responsible for the attack on a Bengali pump operator three days ago and seeking assurance for stop resettling Brus in the locality.
Meantime, District Magistrate (North) Nagesh Kumar B met with JMC leaders and urged to withdraw the ongoing agitation to normalise the situation considering the sufferings of the people. However, JMC did not respond to the call, after which security deployment has further been enhanced in Kanchanpur and neighbouring localities.
Meanwhile, opposition CPI-M and Congress have urged the state government to dialogue with JMC and resolve the deadlock.
The Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma said that the state government has no problem to discuss with the agitators if they want and added, “Bru issue is not a new one. Several attempts were made in the past 22 years to repatriate them to Mizoram but failed. Now, all concerned wanted to settle the issue keeping them here and we agreed. The question comes on the modalities of settlement, which can be sorted out in the discussion.”
The former Loksabha MP and President of CPI-M tribal wing Ganamukti Parishad Jitendra Chowdhury accused the BJP led government in the state and centre of today’s situation in Kanchanpur. He pointed out when in 1997 Bru displaced people came here in the state the left front government had sheltered them and tried to settle the issue.
“We have given them food, shelter, etc. We had taken up the issue with the centre to settle them here or to repatriate in Mizoram, but the centre had not taken any initiative. During left front government never such communal incident had taken place in Kanchanpur against the Brus or any other communities but after BJP came into power such incident has started taking place”, Chowdhury alleged.
He reiterated that BJP had stopped the rations of the Brus for which four persons died. They had protested against the government and after which the ration was resumed in 2018. Now also, centre and state governments didn’t take an appropriate decision. He questioned how can the government settle such a huge number of people in a single sub-division?