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Bru road blockade on, Tripura Govt to impose Sec 144

 AIZAWL, Nov 5 - The road blockade by Bru refugees demanding resumption of free rations to them continued for the sixth day, while the Tripura Government has decided to impose prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in the area where the displaced people barricaded the road, from Tuesday night.

Road communication from Ananda Bazar to Kanchapur via Dasda in North Tripura district has collapsed due to the blockade, an official said.

“Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC will be in force from tonight to ensure that the road is cleared from tomorrow, enabling essential commodities and commuters to pass,” Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Abhedananda Baidya told this news agency.

An organisation of Bru refugees on October 29 threatened to launch the indefinite roadblock at Anandabazar, known for a prominent market in that area where two relief camps are located. The blockade demanding that the Centre resume supply of cash dole and free rations to them, commenced from October 31.

The Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) had claimed on Monday that six people, including babies, have died in relief camps since October 29 “because of starvation” after the Centre stopped the supply of rations and cash dole to the 35,000-odd refugees.

Tripura Government officials, however, said four Bru inmates of the relief camps have died so far and medical teams have been sent there.

Mizoram officials on duty at Kanchanpur said on Monday that the agitating Brus were not blocking the road targeting trucks carrying essential goods, but trying to stop Mizoram officers who are there to repatriate the Bru families.

The decision to stop the supply of rations amid the repatriation of Brus to their homeland Mizoram is “unconstitutional and blatant violation of human rights”, MBDPF general secretary Bruno Msha and president A Sawibunga had said in a letter to the Government.

“The meeting with top Tripura Government officials at Kanchanpur on Monday ended in a stalemate as the Tripura Government said it does not have the authority to resume free rations and cash dole,” Msha said. Three persons who had also starved are now admitted to a hospital, he added.

Each adult in the relief camps used to get Rs 2.67 and a minor Rs 1.33 a day as cash dole, while the quantity of rice was 450 gm for an adult per day and 225 gm for a minor per day as free rations, official sources said.

The Centre had made it clear that the relief camps of Bru refugees in Tripura would be closed down and the displaced persons must be repatriated to Mizoram during the ongoing exercise, Special Secretary (Internal Security), Ministry of Home Affairs, AP Maheshwari, had said on October 16.

Over 4,000 Bru displaced families, lodged in the relief camps at Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivisions of North Tripura district, are scheduled to return to neighbouring Mizoram from where they had fled since 1997 following ethnic clashes.

This ninth round of Bru repatriation has been termed as the “final” one by the Government. – PTI

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