Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Art and Culture - Tribes. Mains Syllabus : GS-II Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and Implementation.

Why in News?

  • A quadripartite agreement has been signed recently which allows some 35,000 Bru tribal people, who were displaced from Mizoram and are living in Tripura as refugees since 1997, to settle permanently in Tripura.
  • The Centre, State governments of Tripura and Mizoram, and representatives of Bru organisations signed the agreement in the presence of Union Home Minister.

Background Info:

  • The Brus – spread across Tripura, Mizoram and parts of southern Assam–are the most populous tribe in Tripura.
  • Also known as Reangs in the state, they are ethnically different from the Mizos, with their own distinct language and dialect.
  • In 1997, following ethnic tension, around 5,000 families comprising around 30,000 Bru-Reang tribals were forced to flee Mizoram and seek shelter in Tripura. Since then these people were housed in temporary camps in Tripura.
  • Since 2010, Government of India has been making sustained efforts to permanently rehabilitate these refugees. The Union government has been assisting the two State governments for taking the care of the refugees and helping them to return to Mizoram in batches.
  • In 2018, an agreement was signed between the Union government, the two State governments and representatives of Bru-Reang refugees, as a result of which the aid given to these families was increased substantially.
  • There had been a sustained demand from most Bru – Reang families that they may be allowed to settle down in Tripura permanently, considering their apprehensions about their security in Mizoram.

Settlement of Bru Refugees in Tripura:

  • Under the new agreement which was signed recently, around 34,000 Bru refugees will be settled permanently in Tripura and would be given aid from the Centre to help with their rehabilitation and all round development, through a package of around Rs 600 crores.
  • These refugees will get all the rights that normal residents of the States get and they would now be able to enjoy the benefits of social welfare schemes of Centre and State governments.
  • Under the new arrangement, each of the displaced families would be given residential plots, in addition to the earlier aid agreed under earlier agreement.

Criticism of the above move:

  • The “solution” has evoked mixed reactions with rights activists fearing it could set a bad precedent, encouraging ethno-centric states to eject minorities from their states.
  • The Brus who returned to Mizoram might also demand a package equivalent to the one those who stayed in Tripura.
  • This move might also result in conflict between indigenous tribes of Tripura and resettled Bru tribes, since the above move could be seen by local people as a threat to their employment and livelihood.
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