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22 Years And Several Attempts Later, Over 30,000 Bru Refugees to be Repatriated to Mizoram

Thousands of Bru families fled Mizoram in September 1997 in the wake of ethnic violence and took refuge at Kanchanpur in north Tripura.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:July 3, 2018, 11:01 PM IST
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22 Years And Several Attempts Later, Over 30,000 Bru Refugees to be Repatriated to Mizoram
File photo of Bru tribal women in Tripura. (Reuters)
Kolkata: After 22 years, about 32,876 people belonging to the Bru community will be repatriated to Mizoram from Tripura after an agreement was signed between the two states and the Union government on Tuesday.

Nearly 5,407 displaced families will be repatriated before September 30 this year and all the temporary camps in North Tripura will be closed down in the first week of October, the home ministry said.

The decision was taken in a meeting convened by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and his Mizoram counterpart Lal Thanhawla, besides other senior officials of the states and the Centre.

“The draft agreement for repatriation of the displaced Bru Refugees had already been circulated by Ministry of Home Affairs. This was discussed in detail and thereafter consensus was reached on the Agreement to be signed between Government of India, Government of Mizoram and Tripura and Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF),” a statement released by the Tripura CMO reads.

Thousands of Bru families fled Mizoram in September 1997 in the wake of ethnic violence and took refuge at Kanchanpur in north Tripura. Several attempts were made to resolve the crisis but they were in vain. In February 2015, the home minister visited the makeshift camps and appealed to the Mizoram government and refugees to end the crisis but to no avail.

As per the joint decision on the rehabilitation package, each family will be given a one-time financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh that will be kept in a fixed deposit in the name of the head of the family within one month of repatriation.

“The money will remain in fixed deposit for two years and will be given to the family after it spends three consecutive years in Mizoram. Each family will also be given Rs 5,000 per month as cash assistance for two years from the date of repatriation,” the statement of the Tripura CMO reads.

In addition, they will be given Rs 1.5 lakh to build a house, which will be disbursed to them in three installments. The cost of their transportation to Mizoram will be borne by the ministry of home affairs. A monitoring committee under special secretary, MHA, with representatives of Mizoram, Tripura government and representatives of Bru peoples has been constituted to coordinate implementation of the agreement.

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