Tripura: 2-Year-Old, Elderly Woman Die Of Starvation In India's Largest Bru Camp
A two-year-old infant and an elderly woman reportedly died of starvation in the largest bru camp in Tripura after the Centre stopped providing free ration and cash-dole to the inmates placed in the relief camp.
The Centre has purportedly cut the essential supplies on October 1. The Tripura government has planned to repatriate all Bru refugees to Mizoram by the end of this year, and the ninth phase of repatriation began on October 3.
MBDPF’s Vice President R. Laldawngliana told The Indian Express that a two-year-old boy, John Chongprengh, and Makoto Reang (60), wife of Binoda Reang, died on Thursday. He claimed that the refugees approached the authorities and doctors in Gachirampara, which is three kilometres away from the camp, but they were not allowed to come to the camp.
“The Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) and Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Kanchanpur did not allow the officials to visit the relief camps,” the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) leader alleged.
MBDPF believes that this happened due to the irresponsible behaviour of the Centre. However, according to Kanchanpur Sub-divisional Magistrate Abhedananda Baidya, the death of the infant who was being treated at Dasda Primary Health Centre (PHC) prior to his death on October 31. But the PHC medical authorities said the infant died due to ‘unknown disease’.
Protest Eruptd After Death
Massive protests erupted in Kanchanpur and Anandabazar area in North Tripura district after the government suspended the free ration and cash dole promised to them earlier. The Centre has approved Rs 350 crore for the ninth phase of repatriation. The amount includes transportation and rehabilitation expenses along with Rs 5,000 per month for each resettled Bru family in Mizoram and free ration for them for two years.
The aggravated matter forced the Mizoram government to discontinue the repatriation process. Officials said that 216 Bru families have returned to Mizoram from the relief camps since October 3 and alleged that the “anti-repatriation elements have been instigating the agitation and hindering the process.”
History Of The Bru Community
The Bru Community are one of the 21 scheduled tribes from Tripura, Mizoram, and Assam. In the wake of inter-community violence, over 30,000 families fled to Tripura from Mizoram since 1997. The Election Commission then asked the Centre to repatriate the internally-displaced people of Mizoram before the state goes for bi-polls.
Ninth Repatriation Process
The Mizoram government has recognised 4447 Bru families as bonafide residents of Mizoram who are currently placed in the six relief camps scattered across Tripura. However, resentment against the repatriation grew amongst the refugees as the Mizoram government accepted bonafide claims of 128 families while 113 families got rejected as they had no valid documents.