Manifest pedagogy: North east India is an hotspot for ethinic strife and conflict in India. We have to atleast have a basic understanding of the current conflicts and a decent understanding of the tribes living in these regions.
In news: Centre, Tripura, and Mizoram have signed an agreement with the Bru/Reang community on January 16, 2020 that promises to end their 23-year-old internal displacement crisis.
Placing it in syllabus: Internal security
- Causes of migration in 1997
- The ethnic conflicts of Mizoram and Tripura
- Tribals of Mizoram and Tripura
- Current settlement
The ethnic conflicts of Mizoram and Tripura:
- The Bru or Reang are a community indigenous to Northeast India, living in Tripura, Mizoram, and Assam.
- In Tripura, they are recognised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).
- About two decades ago, they were targeted by the Young Mizo Association (YMA), Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) and a few ethnic social organisations of Mizoram.
- They had demanded that the Bru be excluded from electoral rolls in the state.
- In October 1997, following ethnic clashes, nearly 37,000 Bru fled Mizoram’s Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts to Tripura where they were sheltered in relief camps.
- Since then, over 5,000 have returned to Mizoram in nine phases of repatriation, while 32,000 people from 5,400 families still live in six relief camps in North Tripura.
- A meagre relief package was provided by the centre.
- They live in makeshift bamboo thatched huts, without permanent power supply and safe drinking water, with no access to proper healthcare services or schools.
Causes of migration in 1997:
- Reang tribes were facing persecution at the hands of the majority Mizos in Mizoram.
- The tension between the over six lakh-strong Mizos and barely 80,000-odd Reangs mainly aroused out of a political demand.
- The Mizos were angered by an attempt by the Reangs (Bru) who united politically and asked for an autonomous council.
- The Joint Action committee (JAC), which comprises the Young Mizo Association and the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP or Mizo Students Federation), warned the Reangs of dire consequences.
- In the midst of the rising tension, a Mizo forester was shot dead allegedly by a fledgling militant group, the Bru National Liberation Front.
- The killing invited retaliation by the Mizos who then burnt down about 70 Reang villages, triggering the exodus of the Reangs out of Mizoram.
- All Bru currently living in temporary relief camps in Tripura will be settled in the state, if they want to stay on.
- The Bru who returned to Mizoram in the eight phases of repatriation since 2009, cannot come back to Tripura.
- A fresh survey and physical verification of Bru families living in relief camps will be carried out.
- In addition to the Rs 600 crore fund announced for the process, the Centre will implement a special development project for the resettled Bru.
- Each resettled family will get 0.03 acre of land for building a home, Rs 1.5 lakh as housing assistance and Rs 4 lakh as a one-time cash benefit for sustenance.
- They will also receive a monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 and free rations for two years from the date of resettlement.
- All cash assistance will be through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and the state government will expedite the opening of bank accounts and the issuance of Aadhaar, permanent residence certificates, ST certificates, and voter identity cards to the beneficiaries.
- Physical verification to identify beneficiaries will be carried out within 15 days of the signing of the deal.
- The land for resettlement will be identified within 60 days, and the land for allotment will be identified within 150 days.
- The beneficiaries will get housing assistance, but the state government will build their homes and hand over possession.
- They will be moved to resettlement locations in four clusters, paving the way for the closure of the temporary camps within 180 days of the signing of the agreement.
- Since Tripura is a small state, the government would explore the possibility of diverting forest lands and if necessary, even reserve forest areas to grant the new entitlements.
Most residents of the camps, however, rejected the “insufficient” terms of the agreement. Around 328 families have returned to Mizoram, rendering the process redundant. The camp residents have opined that the package did not guarantee their safety in Mizoram and feared a repeat of the violence that had forced them to flee.
Tribals of Mizoram and Tripura:
- Any Mizo (Lushai) tribes – Lushai hills
- Chakma – Chakma Autonomous district council (ADC)
- Lai – Lai ADC
- Lakher – Mara ADC
- Kuki, Hmar tribes
- Kokborok-speaking tribe
- Kuki tribes