File photo of Bru refugees in Tripura

Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Mizoram’s apex and most influential students’ body, strongly opposed the intervention from ‘outsiders’ on the issue of repatriation of Bru refugees.

The students’ body expressed strong disapproval of a group of people from Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra under the banner of Bharat Hitaraksha Abhiyan (BHA) staging a demonstration in front of state chief minister Zoramthanga’s bungalow on Bru related issues.

Also read: Mizoram firm on repatriation of Bru refugees this year

“The students’ body strongly opposes the intervention from any outsider which is an internal issue of the state,” a statement issued by the students’ body said.

“The mastermind behind the demonstration and submission of a memorandum seeking protection for the Bru refugees was none other than the RSS,” it added.

In its statement issued by MZP, categorically said, “The Bru tribals left Mizoram and migrated to Tripura on their own for which the state government and civil societies have appealed to the refugees many times to return to Mizoram and several attempts to repatriate them went futile.”

“The state government is currently making hectic preparation for the final phase of Bru repatriation andany interference by groups such as BHA, is uncalled for,” the statement said.

More than 100 people belonging to Bharat Hitaraksha Abhiyan staged demonstration in front of chief minister’s bungalow and demanded cluster villages and other privileges for the Bru people when they are repatriated back to Mizoram.

Meanwhile, the state government is in a mission mode to repatriate over 4,400 Bru families from Tripura in October next this year.

The Centre has approved Rs 350 crores for the exercise, which will cover transportation, rehabilitation package expenses, which includes Rs four lakh for each family, Rs 1.5 lakh each as housing assistance,  Rs 5,000 per month for each resettled Bru family in Mizoram, and free ration for two years.

Thousands of Bru families fled Mizoram and migrated to Tripura following ethnic tension triggered by the alleged murder of a Mizo forest guard by Bru militants in 1997.

Several attempts by the Centre, Mizoram and Tripura governments, to repatriate them since 2009 went futile as the refugees did not accept the repatriation packages.

Aniruddha Laskar

Aniruddha Laskar is the Chief of Bureau, South Assam &and Mizoram. He can be reached at - anilaskar@gmail.com

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