The repatriation of Bru refugees from Tripura to Mizoram has begun on Wednesday. A total of 21 families including 110 members have left for Mamith district of Mizoram.
Although 27 families were supposed to be repatriated today, 21 families turned up for repatriation. They will be staying in Mamith district and will leave for Lunglei district on Thursday.
The repatriation was carried out in presence of North DM Rabel Hamendra Kumar, North SP Bhanupada Chakraborty and others. It is the first repatriation drive held after the quadripartite agreement was signed to repatriate the Bru refugees on July 3 by the two state governments Tripura, Mizoram, the union government and Mizoram Displaced Peoples forum.
The Reang tribe, locally call themselves “Bru”, used to live in makeshift camps in northern Tripura since October 15, 1997 when they fled from western Mizoram after the killing of a Mizo forest officer that had triggered ethnic violence.
According to the reports, there are 5,407 tribal families comprising 32,876 men, women and children sheltered in seven camps made of bamboo and hemp in Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions under North Tripura district adjoining Mizoram.
Following ethnic tensions after killing of a Mizo forest official in Mizoram, over 41,000 Reang tribal refugees – also known as Bru – had taken shelter in six camps in north Tripura’s Kanchanpur sub-division in October 1997. A total of 701 tribal families comprising about 3,585 men, women and children were sent back earlier.