11 families of Bru refugees set to return to Mizoram

first_imgEleven families of displaced Brus are set to return to Mizoram from relief camps in adjoining Tripura on Wednesday, despite an organisation of the refugees refusing to budge unless the Centre accepts its set of demands.The Ministry of Home Affairs had on July 3 signed an agreement with the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum and the Mizoram and Tripura governments for repatriation of 5,407 Bru families by September 30. More than 40,000 Brus had fled Mizoram after ethnic clashes in 1997. But an MHA team that visited Tripura in August said all Bru refugee camps in the Kanchanpur subdivision of North Tripura district will be closed down after September 25.“We have no deadline as such, but 11 families are ready to move to Mizoram tomorrow [Wednesday]. We hope some more families will accept the repatriation package and return home by September 30,” R. Darlong, Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate, told The Hindu.Rehabilitation packageThe renewed repatriation bid has seen 31 families go back from the refugee camps till September 19. But the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Coordination Committee, which claims to represent a majority of the refugees, has refused to vacate the camps unless New Delhi improves the rehabilitation package.“The MHA has not yet responded to our seven-point demand. We will not move unless they are fulfilled,” MBDPCC leader Laldingliana Reang said. The demands include allocation of five hectares of land to each refugee family, their settlement in a cluster comprising at least 500 families, ₹4 lakh compensation to each family before repatriation, revision of electoral rolls, and identification of 1,000 refugee families allegedly not counted by the State governments involved.The package offered by the MHA includes one-time financial assistance of ₹4 lakh to each family as a fixed deposit, a house, and free ration for two years, besides ₹5,000 as monthly assistance. The MHA had said the refugees would not get free rations and other assistance from October if they don’t return to Mizoram.“The free ration and so-called facilities are too meagre for survival. The refugees anyway do odd jobs to sustain themselves,” Mr. Reang said.last_img

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