Oppression of Bru community in Mizoram
Published on: 20/07/2017
Brus are a community of people, who are inhabitants of the original state of Mizoram. Available evidence says they outdate the current state population by many ages. It may then not fail to surprise one that they live in the conditions alike that of refugees, in their own country. They survive on right now as provided by the Government of Tripura. Brus are ethnically, culturally and religiously distinct than the Mizo population. That they are darker, possess blunt features and majority of them identify themselves as “Hindus” sets them apart from the others. They have time and again demanded a separate autonomous council for themselves, administrating over the Bru dominated districts in Mizoram such as Mamit District. These demands were strongly opposed by the Mizo population. Both these communities came to be in conflict with each other, and the pattern of event since 1995 indicate a systematic discrimination against the Brus by the state government. In 1995, Brus were conspicuously left out of the electoral roll revision taking place in state. This was followed by widespread violence against the community in 1997. Number counts of rape and murder ran into hundreds. Several Bru villages were burnt and large number of Brus fled across to the state of Tripura, where they have resided in relief camps since then in well documented pitiable conditions. This constitutes the most severe case of internal displacement in the history of independent India, yet most under-reported. The Brus in Tripura relief camps continue to face discrimination and neglect from the states of Tripura, Mizoram and Union of India. Government of Tripura has a steady stand that the Brus belong to the state of Mizoram and therefore, they are not bound to take any measures to ensure welfare of them. On the other hand, the Government of Mizoram refuses to acknowledge the problems faced by the Brus while it is not in a position to return their original lands which were taken by the Mizo community. They face immense danger of repatriation. Those who were repatriated in 2009 faced violence. In January 2017, local newspapers reported that the Government planned to undertake the repatriation of all the remaining Brus from Tripura in a week’s time. An Interlocutory Application was moved, and that the government has the plan in the pipeline was confirmed by the government’s staunch resistance in the court against the IA. There are such reports again, this time the government plans to execute the plan by the end of this year. It will be objected by the Brus, but the wait for them to return to their home seems never ending.