Supreme Court: The Court has asked the Centre to explain within two weeks why it has stopped the supply of ration to the Mizoram Bru refugees in seven relief camps in Tripura that led to starvation deaths.
“Take instructions and tell us in two weeks. Don’t do this, whatever is the reason. Don’t let people die in this manner,”
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves appearing for the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum apprised the Bench that 40,000 people in seven relief camps in Tripura are affected by the Centre’s decision.
The Centre had stopped the supply of ration from October this year and within one month four children had died, argued Gonsalves.
The petition seeks:
- proper security and proper rehabilitation for the Brus, a scheduled tribe constituting the largest minority group in Mizoram, which was subjected to genocide by the militant Mizo organisation in 1995 and 1997, resulting in thousands of Brus fleeing to Tripura and setting up relief camps where 6,000 families reside today.
- Direction to the Centre to double the quantity of the ration supply and improve its quality by including more diverse nutritious commodities such as pulses, oil, etc.
- Direction to the State of Tripura to issue necessary orders for registration of FIRs in the six starvation deaths which have taken place amongst the Bru IDPs at Tripura since October 1 against the officers responsible for withholding the ration supply to the Bru IDPs.
- Direction to constitute a special investigation team comprised of
- officials from outside the State of Mizoram and Tripura, and not under any administrative control of the Union of India; and
- an independent nutritional expert, to investigate the aforementioned six starvation deaths in a time-bound manner;
- Release of compensation of Rs 1 crore each to the family of the six starvation death victims.