Mizoram Officials Re-identify over 26,000 Bru Refugees in Tripura Ahead of Their Return to Mizoram

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News Desk:

Mizoram officials have re-identified 26,128 Bru refugees belonging to 4,278 families lodged in six relief camps in North Tripura district, state Home Secretary Lalbiakzama said on Monday.

In the previous headcount conducted in last November, 32,876 Brus belonging to 5,407 families were found in the relief camps in North Tripura district. Out of them, only 33 families had returned during repatriation in 2018 and 5,374 Bru families were estimated to have been remaining in the relief camps.

Authorities from Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts conducted the headcount to figure out who is willing to return to Mizoram, from where the Bru community people had fled to Tripura in 1997 due to ethnic unrest.

The state government was making preparations for the final round of the return of the Bru people from Tripura to Mizoram which is scheduled to begin in early September.

Meanwhile, the Centre, in association with the governments of Tripura and Mizoram, had been working on the return of the displaced Brus in phases.

On the other hand, all the identified families expressed their willingness to return to Mizoram though opposition from hardliners and anti repatriation elements could not be ruled out.

The Centre had earlier decided to discontinue all kinds of subsistence allowances; including ration supplies and cash dole, to the Bru refugees from October 1 last year, but continued with the assistance on humanitarian grounds.

The Centre, state governments of Mizoram and Tripura and the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), the apex body of the Bru community in the relief camps, had on July 3, 2018, signed an agreement for the return of all the Bru refugees from Tripura before September 30 last.

According to the pact, the families would have to be resettled in those districts where they used to stay before fleeing to Tripura.

It is to be mention that Bru refugees recently demanded that the Mizoram government resettle them in southern Mizoram due to “shortage of land” in Mamit and Kolasib districts where the majority of them were to be resettled.
However, the state government rejected the demand saying that the July 3 agreement should stand.

The Brus have been residing in Tripura since late 1997 following a communal tension triggered by the murder of a forest guard inside the Dampa Tiger Reserve on October 21, 1997, by Bru National Liberation Front militants.

Reference: https://insidene.com/2019/07/23/mizoram-officials-re-identify-over-26000-bru-refugees-in-tripura-ahead-of-their-return-to-mizoram/

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