30 displaced Bru families to return to Mizoram after two decades

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AIZAWL, Sept 19 (Newmai): About 30 displaced Bru families in Tripura would return to Mizoram after living in relief camps for more than two decades, a senior officer in the state home department said on Wednesday.

Additional secretary in the state home department, Lalbiakzama said that Mizoram officials were sent to the relief camps in Tripura on Wednesday to pick up the families after some of the inmates expressed their willingness to return to Mizoram and accepted the repatriation package of the Centre. The Bru families would arrive in Mizoram probably on Thursday, he said.

This is the first development after futile exercise to repatriate the Bru families on August 25. Last month three Bru families from Tripura had returned to Mizoram during repatriation process.

Lalbiakzama said that the state government is ever ready to repatriate the displaced Bru families, and that, officials would pick up whenever the inmates express their willingness to return to Mizoram.

As per the agreement between the Centre, the Mizoram and the Tripura governments and leaders of Mizoram Bru Displaced People Forum (MBDPF) reached on July 3 in New Delhi, each Bru family would be given financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh and housing assistance to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh. Besides, each family would also be given a monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 and free ration for two years.

Fleeing tension triggered by the murder of a Mizo forest guard by Bru militants in 1997, thousands of Bru people from Mamit, Lunglei and Kolasib districts of Mizoram migrated to Tripura and live in six relief camps in North Tripura district.

A total of 32,876 Bru people are currently living in six relief camps in Tripura since 1997.

Earlier in August, the repatriation exercise could be taken place as the inmates were disagreed with the repatriation package offered by the Centre. They made additional demand including Area Development Council (ADC), allotment of land and cluster village consisting at least 500 families.

The Centre had, on September 10, appealed to the Bru families to return to Mizoram before it revokes dolling out free ration and allowance to them from October 1.

The Centre also said that it would close down all the relief camps in Tripura after set repatriation period is over.

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