AGARTALA, April 19: The resettlement of Reang tribal refugees, sheltered in seven relief camps in northern Tripura after they fled from Mizoram 24 years ago following ethnic strife in the adjoining State, started on Monday, more than 15 months after an agreement was signed in Delhi, officials said.
Officials of Tripura government's Revenue and Relief Department said that according to the agreement signed in January last year by the Chief Secretaries of Mizoram, Tripura, MHA Joint Secretary Satyendra Garg and the representatives of the refugees in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, around 35,000 tribal refugees from 5,400 families of the Reang tribal community would be resettled in different districts of Tripura.
District officials of North Tripura and Dhalai districts said that in the first batch of around 650 tribals would be rehabilitated in two villages under the two subdivisions – Ambassa and Longtharai Valley in Dhalai district.
"The refugees are being transported to the new locations from Kanchanpur Sub-division from Monday and they would now temporarily stay in the newly built makeshift houses in Ambassa and Longtharai Valley sub-divisions before their permanent resettlement," Dhalai District Magistrate Govekar Mayur Ratilal said.
He said that the concerned departments have arranged water, electricity and other basic amenities for the tribals.
Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Chandni Chandran said that on the first day on Monday 424 tribals of 92 families moved to their new locations.
As per the agreement, which came after the Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in November 2019 had agreed to accept the 35,000 tribal refugees ending their 24-year-old imbroglio, the Reangs, and rehabilitate them in the state and provide financial aid for their rehabilitation.
The Reang tribals would also be included as voters in Tripura as maintained in the agreement, which was signed on January 16 last year.
The Centre has announced Rs 600 crore package for the settlement of the Reang tribals, recognised as a primitive tribe in Tripura. Of the package, Rs 150 lakh will be earmarked to the Tripura government for land acquisition and the rest would be spent for the welfare of these tribals.
A series of violent agitations against the resettlement of the Reang tribals in northern Tripura was witnessed in November last year. The agitations in Kanchanpur and Panisagar, both North Tripura districts adjoining Mizoram, caused two deaths – fire-fighter Biswajit Debbarma (41) and agitator Srikanta Das (45) – besides injuring 32 others, including security personnel, fire-fighters and protesters besides damaging many police and private vehicles.
The Joint Movement Committee (JMC), comprising two organisations – Nagarik Suraksha Mancha (Citizen Protection Forum) and Mizo Convention, both representing the non-tribals and Lusai tribals, had spearheaded the agitations opposing the resettlement of the internally displaced Reang tribals in Kanchanpursub-division. – IANS