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High-power ministerial team to meet Bru refugees today

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, Nov 6 - Worried over the indefinite road blockade by Bru refugees demanding restoration of free ration, the Tripura Government has decided to send a high-power ministerial team to Kanchanpur to woo the protesters.

The team, comprising Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Debbarma, Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath, Revenue Minister Narendra Chandra Debbarma and Minister for Social Welfare Santana Chakma, will reach Kanchanpur on Thursday morning.

The team of ministers will try to persuade the agitating Bru refugees to withdraw the road blockade, which they had launched to subvert their repatriation to Mizoram.

Apart from an attractive rehabilitation package, the Bru refugees were also offered a cash incentive of Rs 25,000 per family if they agree to return in the next couple of days.

However, majority of them have refused to return citing that the Mizoram government wants to settle them in far-flung areas.

Royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman today declared he would provide land with pattas to the Bru refugees if Mizoram and Tripura governments fail to rehabilitate them.

�This is your own place. No one could push you to Mizoram because Maharaja Pradyot Kishore is with you. I am with all of you. If situation arises, I will give you land settlement,� he said, amidst thunderous applause.

Debbarman met the Bru refugees at a camp in Kanchanpur.

�If the State Government can plan to provide over 2000 acres of land for a BSF firing range at Kanchanpur, why Reangs, one of the indigenous tribes, will not get land for settlement? This will be injustice to our own people,� he said.

Debbarman said he would file a writ petition in the High Court against stoppage of free ration to the Bru people living in six relief camps. �Under Article 21, no one can be denied food or ration. If it happens, it will be human rights violation,� he said.

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