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Tripura Govt yet to finalise sites for Bru resettlement

Demonstrators during a Statewide bandh called by Tripura People’s Front at Madhabbari in West Tripura district on Wednesday. – Photo: Correspondent
 AGARTALA, Nov 25 - Rattled by the Panisagar incident that claimed two lives, Tripura Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath has clarified that the State Government has not yet finalised the sites for Bru resettlement as the process needs the Centre’s consent. After a “fruitful meeting” with leaders of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC) spearheading the stir against the rehabilitation of the Bru refugees in the Kanchanpur subdivision of the State, at the office of Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Debbarma, Nath today claimed that the JMC leaders were satisfied with the talks.

 “The JMC leaders briefed the Government on their concerns over Bru resettlement in Kanchanpur. They also demanded government jobs and Rs 20 lakh as compensation to the bereaved families of those killed at Panisagar, but the matter is under consideration,” he said. Nath reiterated that the sites for Bru resettlement have not been finalised yet as they all fall under reserved forest (RF) areas which require the Central Government’s nod.

“The State Government has taken up the matter with the Centre. Once the approval is received, the Bru resettlement process will start by taking into consideration the interests of the local people,” the minister said.

Taking a dig at the previous regime, Nath said the Bru issue could have been solved earlier, but it did not happen. “Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has made a fresh attempt to resolve the 23-year-old Bru problem,” he said.

As per the plan, nine subdivisions – Kanchanpur, Panisagar, Lontharai Valley, Ambassa, Kailashahar, Dharmanagar, Sonamura and Amarpur – have been identified for Bru resettlement. The Government is planning to rehabilitate more than 8,500 Bru families in these nine subdivisions spread across six districts.

Meanwhile, the Tripura People’s Front (TPF) today observed a bandh in some areas of the State in protest against the killing of Fire Services personnel Biswajit Debbarma at Panisagar area of North Tripura district recently. Bandh supporters blocked the Assam-Agartala national highway at Madhabbari in Jirania subdivision for hours. Later, the highway was cleared by security personnel.

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