Aizawl, July 23: With uncertainty lie with the upcoming repatriation of over 32,800 Bru (Reang) families from Tripura following the withdrawal of Bru body from the quadripartite agreement, the situation has now become worse as the repatriated Brus, who have already returned to Mizoram have threatened to boycott the upcoming repatriation of the last batch of Bru families if the Centre fails to meet their demand to give uniform rehabilitation package.
Headed by former Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) president and present chairman of Bru Coordination Committee (BCC) Elvis Chorkhy, the repatriated Bru families in Mizoram have recently formed a committee named “Equal Package Demand Committee (EPDC)” to register their demands.
Chorkhy said the committee was formed by over 100 settled Bru tribals in western Mizoram’s Mamit town bordering Tripura and Bangladesh on last Friday to spearhead the demand for uniform rehabilitation package for the already returned Bru families on par with those, who would be repatriated soon.
He said that they believed in a theory- “first come first serve.”
According to the leader, at least 1,712 Bru families have already returned to Mizoram in different batches since 2010 as per the state government record.
Majority of the repatriated families live in Mamit district, while some families live in Kolasib, Lunglei and Lawngtlai districts as well, he said.
Chorkhy said that the repatriated families received one time package of only Rs 80,000 each and free ration for a period of one year.
“Our main demand is equal rehabilitation with those Bru families, who will be repatriated soon. We deserve the same facility as we have returned to Mizoram first and we would boycott the upcoming repatriation if the government fails to meet our demand before 14 August,” he said.
He said that the committee will write to union government over its demands within this week.
According to Chorky, who also a member of joint monitoring committee for Bru repatriation, he had raised uniform rehabilitation package several times before, but the government turned a deaf year and could not give assurance at the time of signing agreement on July 3 in New Delhi.
He said that the already repatriated Bru families are economically poor and are living hand to mouth.
As per the quadripartite agreement between the centre, government of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), an apex body of displaced Bru families in Tripura, about 32,857 Bru refugees from 5,413 families, who are living in six relief camps in Tripura would start returning to Mizoram from August in multi-phases.
The repatriated families would get financial aid of Rs 4 lakh each and housing assistance to the tune of Rs 1.50 lakh.. Each family would also be given monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 for two years and free ration for the same period.
Though the MBDPF had pulled out of the agreement, the Mizoram government is set to begin repatriation process from August 14 and the multi-phases repatriation is scheduled to be completed by 10 September.