Protest against the government’s plan to settle Mizoram Bru refugees in Kanchanpur
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday warned action against those circulating graphic videos on Saturday’s violent incidents at Panisagar in north Tripura that left two dead and many injured.
In a tweet, he appealed to people to refrain from sharing videos and images of the violence on social media platforms to avoid misinterpretation in society.
The Tripura police too, in their Twitter handle, issued a warning against sharing videos on social media. “Strict legal action would be taken against those sharing such videos and spreading rumours”, they stated.
Law and order issue
The statement said the incidents at north Tripura were a law and order issue, but on social media, videos were being circulated to ‘give the incident the colour of communal violence’.
Police said the situation in Kanchanpur and neighbouring Panisagar was now peaceful.
One person, Srikanta Das (45), was killed when security personnel opened fire on huge crowds from Kanchanpur who blocked the Assam-Agartala National Highway at Chamtilla in Panisagar to protest the government’s plan to settle Mizoram Bru refugees in Kanchanpur. The irate mob lynched a fire service staff, Biswajit Debbarma (40), who got trapped in the clashes.
About 23 people, including 15 police and fire service personnel, were injured in the violence. Some of them were shifted to the GBP Hospital in Agartala. Five security vehicles were damaged by the protesters of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC) which had spearheaded agitation against the plan to permanently rehabilitate 5,000 Bru evacuees in Kanchanpur.
The JMC had enforced an indefinite strike in Kanchanpur, which entered seventh day on Sunday.
The Tripura government has announced a compensation of ₹5 lakh each to the bereaved families.
Meanwhile, Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Chandni Chandran confirmed deployment of Assam Rifles and Border Security Force personnel in restive areas. The north Tripura district administration imposed Section 144 of Cr.PC in both Kanchanpur and Panisagar.
12 places selected
The Tripura government has selected 12 places, including Kanchanpur, to rehabilitate some 35,000 Mizoram Brus currently housed in six makeshift camps.
In January, Union Home Minister Amit Shah presided over the signing of a quadripartite accord of Ministry with State governments of Mizoram, Tripura and leaders of Bru refugees to permanently settle evacuees in Tripura, ending 23-year-old imbroglio. The refugee leaders recently met State Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar seeking implementation of the accord which offered lucrative rehabilitation package to the evacuees.
The Joint Action Committee of Civil Society, a platform of various tribal organisations, on Sunday condemned the violent incidents. It appealed to people to maintain peace and harmony.
The society also urged the State government to implement the Bru accord and end the refugee stalemate permanently.
Opposition parties have demanded a dialogue with the Kanchanpur protesters to resolve the problem. They also demanded a judicial inquiry into the incidents.
The State government ordered a magisterial probe into the violence at Panisagar.