Context: A coordination body of non-Bru people in Tripura has opposed the large-scale settlement of Bru refugees across seven sites in the State saying that it would have “negative social, cultural, political, environmental and ecological impacts”.
- More than 40,000 Brus — also called Reangs — have been living in relief camps in Tripura since 1997 after escaping ethnic violence in Mizoram.
- In 1997, the murder of a Mizo forest guard allegedly by Bru (also known as Reangs) militants led to a violent backlash against the community, forcing several thousand of them to flee out of their home state of Mizoram to neighbouring Tripura.
- Since then around 30,000 of them have been living in refugee camps in the Jampui Hills of Tripura.
- The Bru militancy was a reactionary movement against Mizo nationalist groups who had demanded in the mid-1990s that the Brus be left out of the state’s electoral rolls, contending that the tribe was not indigenous to Mizoram.
- Bru or Reang is a community indigenous to Northeast India, living mostly in Tripura, Mizoram and Assam. In Tripura, they are recognised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group.
- The Brus say the government’s package does not guarantee their safety in Mizoram. They had demanded resettlement in cluster villages, among other things.