Bru repatriation deferred to August 25

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AIZAWL, Aug. 12: The repatriation of the last batch of Bru refugees lodged in six relief camps in Kanchanpur sub-division of north Tripura district has been deferred to August 25, Mizoram Home Department officials said on Sunday.

They said that though the repatriation of Bru people was earlier scheduled to commence from August 14, it has been deferred to August 25 due to ‘unpreparedness’ of a section of inmates of the relief camps.

“The Bru families were not fully prepared as there were some families, who were yet to complete the process of securing important documents such as bank accounts, Aadhar cards and ration cards,” the officials said. They also said that the decision for deferment was taken at a meeting between officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), representatives of Mizoram and Tripura governments and Bru leaders at Damchera on Friday. The repatriation process was expected to be completed by September 25 against the previous schedule of September 10. According to the officials, the Friday meeting also discussed about closure of all refugees camps in Tripura after the completion of repatriation in October.

Meanwhile, sources said the Bru refugees were unhappy as the Central government has not acceded to their demands.

Apart from the rehabilitation package offered by the Centre at the quadripartite meeting in New Delhi on July 3, the Bru people have demanded creation of Area Development Council (ADC), cluster village, one-time cash assistance, increment of land allotment for agriculture and sustenance, among others. Mizoram officials, however, said that the Centre rejected the Bru demands.

As per the quadripartite agreement, the Bru families, when return to Mizoram would be given financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh. Each family would also be provided housing assistance to the tune of Rs 1.50 lakh, free ration for two years and monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 each for the same period. The cash assistance would be provided after three years of uninterrupted stay in Mizoram and housing assistance would be given in three instalments.

Altogether 32,857 Bru refugees belonging to 5,413 families are currently lodging in six relief camps in Tripura, according to the officials.

The Bru families, when returned to Mizoram, would resettle in 46 villages in Mamit district, 40 villages in Kolasib district and 4 villages in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district.

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