Centre and Tripura
have failed the Brus
Camp conditions sub-human
Club, 3 pm:
“The Central government and the State government
of Tripura have failed both to ensure honourable return of the displaced
Brus from Mizoram and to improve sub-human conditions of the camps”,
stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights,
at a press conference after a visit to the camps in North Tripura
from 2 to 4 January 2006. More than five months have elapsed since
the members of the Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) surrendered
on 25 July 2005 but not a single internally
displaced Bru from Mizoram has yet been repatriated. The return
of the Brus appears to have ended with the return of 273 Brus consisting
of the BNLF cadres and their family members.
Commenting on the Memorandum
of Understanding (MoU) signed between Mizoram
and BNLF, Mr Chakma stated it was clear from the opinions of the
displaced Brus that the MoU has failed to resolve the Bru insurgency
as it does not address the problems of displaced Brus who constitute
the overwhelming majority of the Brus of Mizoram. The MoU only attempts
to rehabilitate the BNLF cadres. There is no general amnesty for
those living in the camps, guarantees for security, compensation
for the properties lost and/or damaged, restoration of the lands
to the original owners, and proper and adequate rehabilitation
of the displaced Brus within a specific time frame. Nothing reflects
more acutely the repressive policies of the Mizoram government than
the murder of Hulendra Reang in August 2005 by Mizoram Police after
entering into Tripura.
identification of the socalled genuine Brus is a ploy not to take
back majority of the displaced Brus and exposes Mizoram government's
tacit support to the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) and Young Mizo Association
(YMA) which first systematically deleted the Brus from the voter
lists and then uprooted them from their hearts and homes."
- stated Mr Chakma.
sincerely do not believe that the Brus will be included in the voter
lists on their return. There is no rule of law or due process of
law as Mizoram government often abdicates its responsibility to
the non-State actors like YMA and MZP to delete the minorities in
the State from the voter list" - further added Mr Chakma.
On the announcement of the
Centre for Rs 28 crores package for the rehabilitation of Brus,
Mr Chakma commented, “it was unwise to declare
the package without specifying the time frame for the return of
the Brus from Tripura and the package for each family. Since the
Mizoram government refuses to take back all the Brus, are we to
presume that Mizoram government will take back all of them or is
it a case that Central
government has already accepted
the number of Brus to be repatriated? – asked Mr Chakma.
“Unless the displaced Brus are rehabilitated,
armed opposition group such as the Bru Liberation Front of Mizoram
(BLFM) will emerge. There are some vested interests not to resolve
the Bru problem" - stated Mr Chakma.
During the visit to the
relief camps under Kanchanpur sub-division in North Tripura from
2-4 January 2006, Asian Centre for Human Rights found the conditions
of over 34,000 displaced Brus in the camps in North Tripura as sub-human.
It is clear that Tripura government does not believe in "Athithi
The daily cash dole of Rs
2.90 i.e. Rs 87/- per month given to each adult Bru is extremely
discriminatory considering that displaced Kashmiri pandits from
Jammu and Kashmir are provided Rs 800/- per month. How could citizens
of the same country be discriminated?
Since 2001, the new-born
babies have been included only in the census but not in the relief
cards to make them eligible for food items. Those who have become
adult in the last five years continue to be given rations as minor.
In any case, the ration of 450 grams of rice is so inadequate that
displaced Brus do not even report death as it means further reduction
of the rations already provided. Although officials claimed that
coconut oil are being provided, it was a news
to the Brus.
Medical facilities are non-existent
and the expenditures of the State government do not show medical
expenses. Doctors have allegedly not visited the relief camps from
six months to one and half year now. Only when the death of the
Brus takes epidemic proportion, the doctors visit the camps. The
conditions of children and pregnant women are the worst. As there
are no primary health care centers, pregnant women are forced to
deliver at home. Maternity death is quite high and as are also the
Most tube wells are out
of order. The Brus are forced to drink water from the streams and
ponds, thereby causing water-born diseases.
Sanitation facilities are non-existent.
The Tripura government has
made a mockery of the right to education as it has not provided
any educational facilities to the children in the camps. Even the
Sarva Siksha Abhiyan has not been extended to the Bru relief camps.
Effectively, over 5,000 minors have been denied the right to education
and an entire generation of the Brus has been kept illiterate in
the last eight years. "The policy of
the Tripura government on denying the right to education to the
Brus is no less condemnable than the practices of the Mizoram government"
- stated Mr Chakma.
Central government and the State government of Tripura must either
pressurise the State government of Mizoram to ensure honourable
repatriation of the Brus within a specific time frame or else drastically
improve the sub-human conditions of the camps in North Tripura."
- demanded Mr Chakma. “If the Reangs cannot
honourably repatriated, all other majority communities in the North
East will resort to such ethnic cleansings.” – warned Mr
Asian Centre for Human Rights,
among other, calls upon (1) the Central government and the State
government of Tripura to ensure honourable return of the Bru IDPs
as a matter of priority within a specific time frame with guarantees
for security; and (2) improve the camp conditions by allocating
5% of the budget allocated to Mizoram by the Centre to provide adequate
housing, adequate food, more cash dole, right to education, access
highest attainable standard
of health care and drinking water etc to the displaced Brus.