Agartala, July 31: The Tripura government has initiated a process to bring back 640 members of the Charai tribe who have fled to neighbouring Assam after a clash with displaced Brus from Mizoram.
Thirteen people were injured in a clash between Brus and local tribals near Casco Bru camp in North Tripura district on July 26, following which 640 Charais fled to Manikban hamlet in Patharkandi in Karimganj district of Assam. Panisagar MLA Binoy Bhushan Das accompanied by officials visited Manikban on Saturday to convince the Charais to return to their homes, North Tripura Superintendent of Police Bhanupada Chakraborty said.
A team of Tripura government officials had visited the hamlet on Friday and provided the Charais with food and medicine, urging them to return to their ancestral homes. The clash erupted after some Brus had opened roadside shops in Damcherra block and local Charai and Halam tribals objected to it, Chakraborty said. However, the shop-owners refused to shut down their establishments, leading to a heated exchange of words, and soon Brus and local tribals clashed with sticks and 'dao' (machete), leaving 13 people injured, he said.
Police had to open fire in the air and resort to lathi-charge to bring the situation under control, the police officer said, adding that the injured were hospitalised.
"Some Charais had fled to Manikban in Assam. Food and medical assistance were sent to them on Friday and today, the local MLA left for the place to bring them back. It is likely that they will return home soon," Chakraborty told PTI. He said that state and central paramilitary forces have been deployed in the area where the clash had taken place, and the situation is completely peaceful. Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF) secretary Bruno Msha also appealed to the Charai people to return to their homes. He demanded exemplary punishment for the culprits and sought financial compensation for the eight Brus who were allegedly injured in the clash.
"People from both communities were injured in the clash. We have heard that some Charai people have fled to Assam. We appeal to them to return home," he said. Over 30,000 Brus, who have been living in Tripura since 1997, are now permanently settled in the northeastern state and a tripartite agreement was signed to this effect on Jan 16, 2020. The Brus have been living in relief camps in Tripura after they fled Mizoram in 1997 following ethnic clashes with Mizos.
Their rehabilitation process started earlier this year and many of them were settled in different parts of Tripura. The migrants have urged the state government to provide them security during the resettlement process.