Centre tells Bru refugees they cant stay indefinitely in Tripura

Updated on Oct 17, 2019 01:40 AM IST

Union home ministry special secretary AP Maheshwari said Centre would assist the Brus to bring them at par with other communities in Mizoram through skill development of their youths.

Displaced Bru refugee families board a bus to return to Mizoram from Tripura as part of a Home ministry sponsored rehabilitation package.(PTI)
Displaced Bru refugee families board a bus to return to Mizoram from Tripura as part of a Home ministry sponsored rehabilitation package.(PTI)
Hindustan Times, Agartala | ByPriyanka Deb Barman

The Union Home Ministry would help the Brus in their repatriation to Mizoram but camps for these displaced people cannot continue in Tripura anymore, said special secretary (Internal Security) AP Maheshwari on Wednesday.

“ As the resettlement scheme was finalised in 2018, the Brus need to return to their native place. Mizoram government is making preparations. We have listened to the apprehensions of the Brus in the meeting and have assured to give security to each of the Bru people. But, we make it clear that no Bru camps can continue in Tripura anymore,” Maheshwari told the reporters after a meeting with Tripura and Mizoram governments and leaders of the Bru community at State Guest House on Wednesday.

He added that the Centre would assist the Brus to bring them at par with other communities in Mizoram through skill development of their youths.

Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples’ Forum (MBDPF) secretary Bruno Msha said, “The Bru leaders would prepare a memorandum regarding their demands to forward it to the centre soon.“

As many as 329 Bru displaced people from 67 families have returned to Mizoram so far in the ninth phase of repatriation process that started from October 3 this year. It will continue till November 3.

Over 37,000 Bru people took shelter in Tripura in 1997 escaping from an ethnic clash that erupted in Mizoram.

Nearly 4,000 Bru families are currently settled in six camps with three each at Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub divisions of North district, around 200 kilometres from Agartala.

After more than two decades, the Centre had signed a pact with Tripura and Mizoram governments and MBDPF,a forum comprising of Bru people in New Delhi on July 3 last year for repatriation of over five thousand families.

The post repatriation agreement promised Rs. 4 lakh as fixed deposit, Rs.5,000 for a period of two years with Rs. 1.50 lakh for construction of house to each family barring their prolonged demands of allotment of five hectares of land to each family, formation of cluster village.

In eight phases of repatriation which started since 2009, nearly 7,000 Bru refugees have returned to Mizoram.

The last phase of repatriation was started from August 25 in 2018 when only 150 refugees went to Mizoram. As most of them did not leave, their relief supplies were halted, according to instructions of the MHA from October 1, last year. The supply was later resumed after 21 days to continue till January 15 this year. Later, it was extended to March 31 and then to September 30 this year.

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