Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said on Monday that a quadripartite agreement will be signed on Thursday regarding the permanent settlement of the Bru people.
The agreement will be signed among the Centre, the governments of Mizoram and Tripura and a Bru organisation.
Thousands of Bru people are living at relief camps in Tripura since 1997.
“The proposed agreement will permanently end a two-decade-old imbroglio on Bru repatriation,” Zoramthanga said while addressing a function on Monday.
Zoramthanga informed he has been invited by the union home ministry to sign the agreement, which will also permanently end repatriation of over 35,000 Bru refugees lodged at six relief camps in Tripura to Mizoram.
“The agreement will be signed between officials of union home ministry, CMs of Mizoram and Tripura and leaders of Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) on Thursday,” the CM said.
“The Centre’s decision came after the Bru tribal refused to return to Mizoram and expressed their willingness to permanently settle down in Tripura,” Zoramthanga sais.
“The MHA informed us about the Bru people being determined to permanently live in Tripura,” Zoramthanga said.
“The ministry wants to settle down the Bru issue by allowing the refugees to permanently live in Tripura and provide rehabilitation,” Zoramthanga added.
MBDPF general secretary Bruno Msha informed Northeast Now over the phone from Tripura that the association did not receive any information regarding the proposed agreement.
Fleeing communal tension triggered by the murder of a Mizo forest guard by the Bru militants, thousands of Bru migrated to Tripura in 1997.
Since then they have been living at six relief camps in Tripura and the Centre provide ration to them.
The Mizoram government had made at least nine attempts to repatriate them since 2009 but the repatriation went futile as the Bru tribal refused to return to their villages in Mizoram citing security reasons and inadequate rehabilitation.
However, over 8,000 Bru people returned to Mizoram either through repatriation or on their own between November 2009 and November 2019.
During October to November last year, the Mizoram government had conducted the ninth and final phase of Bru repatriation during which about 1,165 Bru people, returned to Mizoram.
NGO Coordination Committee, a conglomerate of major civil societies and students organisations, has been demanding that the Bru people, who were reluctant to return should be deleted from state’s voter list and allow them to permanently settle down in Tripura.