Following fear of security of life, the Bru refugees of Mizoram sought shelter in Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura on 1997. They were rehabilitated on 193.08 acres of land by the Kanchanpur Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM). In certain areas of Kanchanpur in which the Brus are rehabilitated such as Kashirampara, Subhashnagar and Gachhirampara and Anandabazar area, the Kanchanpur Swasti Cooperative Society laid claim on these lands as their owners. The Cooperative Society alleged that their lands have been illegally given over to the Bru refugees by the Kanchanpur sub-divisional administration.
As alleged by the Cooperative Society, the Kanchanpur sub-divisional administration is taking hold of lands belonging to 3000 shareholders. The Society also reportedly slapped a notice to the sub-divisional administration for vacating those lands.
Land given to Bru refugees
The Society alleged that in 2001, 120 shareholder families left their lands in Kashirampur under coercion. It further alleged that in 2003, 100 shareholder families left their lands in Gachhirampara under duress. Their lands were earmarked for rehabilitation of the Bru refugees reportedly.
They ultimately told that they would move the judiciary if their lands are not returned.
‘It is a convoluted issue. And though it is under the purview of the Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional magistrate, it is highly official. The state administration is also worried about it. However, there is nothing on record to suggest that the administration has coercively snatched away the Cooperative Society’s lands for rehabilitating the Bru refugees,’ said SDM, Santosh Dev.
Shilajit Kar Bhowmik