Bru refugees
File photo of Bru refugees. Image credit. Northeast Now

A total of 4,400 Bru refugees, taking shelter in six camps at Kanchanpur of North Tripura, are likely to be repatriated in the month of October.

This was informed on Sunday by an official of the Home department of Mizoram on condition of anonymity.

The official informed, “The ninth and the final phase of repatriation of over 26,100 refugees, lodged at six relief camps in North Tripura district, shall commence from October 1 next.”

“The decision in this regard was taken at a joint monitoring group meeting on Bru repatriation held at New Delhi on September 6 last,” the official said.

The meeting, which was chaired by special secretary (internal security), Ministry of Home Affairs, A P Maheswari, also approved in principle to release a sum of Rs 350 crore for the final phase of Bru repatriation, from six relief camps in Tripura, the official said.

He said the approved amount of Rs 350 crore would cover rehabilitation package expenses including Rs 4 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.

The official further said, “The Mizoram government make arrangement for the transportation of Bru families back to their state.”

Apart from top officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), a meeting held on Friday last was also attended by officials of the Home department from both Mizoram and Tripura governments, leaders of Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), Bru NGOs and Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA).

The Mizoram government conducted identification of Bru families during from July 3 till July 20 this year at six relief camps in Tripura during which over 26,100 people were identified as the bonafide residents of Mizoram.

The refugees would be resettled in Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram, the official informed.

It may be mentioned that thousands of Bru families fled Mizoram and migrated to neighbouring Tripura, following ethnic clashes 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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