Bru Repatriation unlikely to begin as per Schedule in March: Official

AIZWAL: Repatriation of over 5,000 Bru families from Tripura is not likely to take off as scheduled from this month, as the refugees rejected a central government financial assistance proposal, a senior state home department official today said.

Officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs informed the 5,413 refugee families last month that each repatriated family would be provided with a package of Rs. 1.30 lakh besides Rs. 5,000 per family per month and free ration for two years.

“The Bru people in the relief camps rejected the proposals of the MHA during a meeting at Naisingpara relief camp on February 23. It is unlikely that the repatriation will begin as per schedule,” Mizoram Additional Secretary for Home Lalbiakzama told PTI.

A memorandum submitted to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh by the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) in January had demanded a provision of Rs. 15 lakh to each repatriated Bru family. The MBPDF had also demanded that all the repatriated able-bodied youths should be given government jobs.

The ball is now in the court of the MHA, he said.

Lalbiakzama said the Mizoram government is fully prepared to conduct the repatriation from Tripura to Mizoram any time.

The repatriation was scheduled to begin from the first week of March.

Thousands of Brus are lodged in the six relief camps since the later part of 1997 following exodus from Mizoram due to communal tension that was triggered by the murder of a forest official by Bru terrorists.

Mizoram government officials who conducted an identification in the Tripura relief camps from November 2 to November 23, 2016 had identified 32,857 people belonging to 5,413 families as bona fide residents of Mizoram, who were eligible for repatriation.