- The home ministry said that more than 30,000 people belonging to the Bru community will be given voting rights in Mizoram.
- Election Commission asks Mizoram to revise its rolls for the polls this year to include Bru community.
- The Bru community once spread across Mamit and Kolasib districts of Mizoram, were forced to flee their native land in 1997 after animosity between the tribe and the Mizos turned violent.
- Conflict between the communities began in 1995 when organisations representing Mizos majority community in the state demanded that Brus be stripped of their voting rights as they were not indigenous to Mizoram.
- This led to rise of militant outfits among the Brus who in 1997 shot dead a Mizo forest guard.
- The violent backlash from Mizos to this incident forced Brus to flee to Tripura where they have been living in refugee camps in pitiable condition for close to two decades.
- As many as 32,876 people of the Reang tribe (known in Mizoram as Brus) are set to be repatriated to Mizoram after a tripartite agreement was signed between the Centre, Tripura and Mizoram.
About the repatriation
- The decision of repatriation was taken after a tripartite agreement was signed by the two state governments and the Centre.
- The Central government will provide financial assistance for rehabilitation of Bru community members in Mizoram and address their issues of security, education, livelihood among others in consultation with the governments of Mizoram and Tripura.
- Each displaced family would get a financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh in the form of a fixed deposit.
- The family would get rights to the deposit after three years of continuous living in Mizoram.
- A cash assistance of Rs 5,000 per month would also be given to each family for two years through Direct Benefit Transfer.
- Apart from this, each family would also get Rs 1.5 lakh as house building assistance, free ration for two years and free transportation while shifting to Mizoram.
- Steps are being taken so that families were not split and they get rehabilitated in villages from where they were forced to leave.
- The entire process would cost ₹435 crore to the Centre over a period of two years.
About Bru community
- Riang are one of the 21 scheduled tribes of the Indian state of Tripura.
- The correct nomenclature for this ethnic group is actually Bru although the name Reang was accidentally incorporated by the Indian government during a census count.
- The Bru can be found all over the Tripura state in India.
- However, they may also be found in Mizoram, Assam, Manipur and Bangladesh.
- They speak the Reang dialect of Kokborok language which is of Tibeto-Burmese origin and is locally referred to as Kau Bru.
- The Reangs are primarily an agrarian tribe.
- In the past, they mostly practised the Huk or Jhum cultivation like most other Tripuri tribes.
- However today, most of them have adopted modern agricultural practices.
- Educated reangs however shy away from agriculture and seek government jobs.
- Many occupy high posts in the bureaucracy and a few have even started their own businesses.
- Dance is an integral part of Reang life.
- The Hojagiri folk dance of Riang sub tribe is rather well known all over the world.
- ‘Buisu’, not ‘bihu’ is the most popular festival of reang tribes, naisingpara hojagiri group is the most popular groups all among them, late maniram reang is the founder of naisingpara hojagiri dance group.