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Three more Bru families return to Mizoram

Mizoram

Three more Bru families return to Mizoram

AIZAWL: Three more Bru families have returned to Mizoram from Tripura on Friday even as the deadline for repatriation expired on 25 September, officials of state home department said.

Home department joint secretary Lalbiaksangi said that the three families would re-settle in Lunglei district.

She said that Ministry of Home Affairs conducted identification of Bru refugees, who are willing to return to Mizoram following which some families returned to Mizoram after the ministry warned that it would close down the relief camps in October.

Many families, though willing, were hesitant to return to Mizoram for fear of reprisal from their leaders, she said.

Lalbiaksangi also said that she is not sure whether the government would continue to repatriate the Bru refugees as the deadline has already expired on 25 September.

She, however, said that the Mizoram government would cooperate with the MHA in bringing back the Bru families from Tripura.

So far, 34 Bru families have returned from Tripura during repatriation after two decades of stay in relief camps.

Initially, 3 families returned to Mizoram in August followed by 17 families on 19 September and 11 families on 26 September.

Of the 34 families, 23 settled in Lunglei district and the rest 11 in Mamit district.

Thousands of Bru families fled Mizoram and migrated to Tripura following ethnic violence triggered by the murder of a Mizo forest guard by Bru militants in 1997.

According to the quadripartite reached on July 3, about 32,876 Bru people belonging to 5,407 families would start returning to Mizoram from August in multi-phased repatriation.

But the Bru families refused to return as they did not accept the repatriation package offered by the centre.

They placed seven-point charter of demands including the creation of Area Development Council (ADC) for the Brus in Mizoram, allocation of five hectares of land to each refugee family, cluster villages with each housing at least 500 families, Rs.4 lakh compensation to each family before repatriation and revision of electoral rolls in relief camps.

Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples’ Coordination Committee (MBDPCC) president Laldingliana Reang said that they would not return unless the government meet the most important points of their seven-point demands.

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Mr. Khojol is a journalist based in Aizawl, Mizoram. He writes for various national and regional media houses. In his free time, he can be caught reading books and watching movies.

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