Bru refugees in Tripura ask Amit Shah to stop repatriation to Mizoram
Days after a top Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) official declared that Bru camps in Tripura cannot continue indefinitely, the Bru refugees have petitioned Union Home Minister Amit Shah to intervene and stop their repatriation to Mizoram till their demands are met.
In a memorandum addressed to Shah submitted to Kanchanpur sub divisional magistrate Abhedananda Baidya on Monday by four organizations including Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum, Brus have demanded reintroduction of ration and cash support that was stopped on October 1.
They have also reiterated their demands for allocation of sufficient land in Mizoram after their repatriation, one-time payment of cash benefits, re-arrangement of some rehabilitation centres and restoration of land that they left behind in 1997 when they fled Mizoram.
The memorandum also demanded that Mizoram government stop sending vehicles to the relief camps to ferry them back.
“...The Government of India should reconsider and release free ration and cash-dole immediately… The Government of Mizoram should stop sending of vehicles to the relief camps…” the memorandum reads.
On October 16, after a meeting among officials of the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA), Tripura and Mizoram governments and Bru leaders in Agartala, MHA’s special secretary (Internal Security) AP Maheshwari said that they would help the repatriation and would ensure their security there but no Bru camps can continue in Tripura.
Over 300 Bru displaced persons from 67 families have returned to Mizoram in the ninth phase of repatriation process that started on October 3.
Over 37,000 Bru people took shelter in Tripura in 1997 to escape an ethnic clash. Nearly 4,000 Bru families are currently staying in six camps with three each at Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub divisions of North district, around 200 kilometres from Agartala.