Around 1,900 tribal refugees, who were living in north Tripura for the past 13 years after they fled from neighbouring Mizoram following ethnic trouble, became homeless after their makeshift camps were gutted in a major fire, officials said Tuesday.
"About 371 tribal refugee families comprising 1,855 men, women and children have been shifted to nearby areas after their temporary huts made of bamboo and hemp at Hamshapara in northern Tripura were reduced to ashes by the fire that broke out late Monday night," Sub-Divisional Magistrate Dilip Chakma told IANS by phone.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
Over 37,000 Reang tribal refugees have sought shelter in six camps in north Tripura, adjacent to Mizoram, since 1997 when they fled western Mizoram following ethnic clashes with the majority Mizos over the killing of a forest official.
The union home ministry through the Tripura government has so far spent around Rs.1.64 billion for their upkeep.
The Tripura government and the union home ministry has been asking the Mizoram government to take back the refugees. However, the government is yet to take any steps for their repatriation.