Mizoram officials to visit Bru relief camps in Tripura next week: Home Secretary

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Aizawl, August 19: Mizoram government officials would visit Bru relief camps in North Tripura district next week for the final identification process, a senior Home department official said here on Monday.
Mizoram Home secretary Lalbiakzama told PTI that the officials would conduct on the spot verification of the claims made by over 200 Bru refugees in the relief camps that they are bona fide residents of Mizoram.
Mizoram officials who conducted the second phase of identification of bona fide Mizoram residents in the six Bru relief camps in North Tripura district have identified 26,128 people belonging to 4,278 families after conclusion of the second phase of identification on July 20 last.
The Home secretary said that all the identified families have expressed willingness to return to Mizoram though obstruction from hard-liners and anti-repatriation elements could not be ruled out.
The physical repatriation may start by October if the monsoon is over by then, Lalbiakzama said.
Thousands of Brus refuse to return to Mizoram even after the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), apex body of the Brus in the relief camps signed an agreement with the Centre and the state governments of Mizoram and Tripura on July three last year.
As per the agreement, the Centre would provide Rs four lakh to each repatriated family by depositing the money in their accounts, payment of Rs 1.5 lakh for housing assistance and payment of Rs 5,000 per month to each family and free ration for two years.
The Brus are in Tripura since late 1997 in the wake of a communal tension triggered by the murder of the forest guard inside the Dampa Tiger Reserve on October 21, 1997 by Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) insurgents
The first attempt to repatriate the Brus from the relief camps in Tripura in November 2009 failed and triggered another wave exodus after the murder of a Mizo youth at Bungthuam village on November 13, 2009.
Though some Bru families have returned to Mizoram during a number of repatriation processes and on their own but many have refused to leave the relief camps in Tripura. (PTI)