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The need for conducting identification of Bru people living in six relief camps in Tripura was pointed out at a meeting in Kolasib near Assam border on Tuesday
The need for conducting identification of Bru people living in six relief camps in Tripura was pointed out at a meeting in Kolasib near Assam border on Tuesday|File image
MIZORAM

Mizoram to hold 2nd phase of Bru identification for repatriation

Nearly 35,000 Bru people are still living at 6 relief camps in North Tripura since 1997; several attempts by the Centre, state govts to repatriate them have gone futile

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: The Mizoram government will conduct the second phase of Bru identification for final repatriation, which is likely to begin after rainy season, officials of home department said.

The need for conducting identification of Bru people living in six relief camps in Tripura was pointed out at a meeting in Kolasib near Assam border on Tuesday, he said.

Chaired by Kolasib district deputy commissioner Zoengsanga, the meeting discussed over the final repatriation of Bru people.

State’s home additional secretary Lalbiaksangi informed the meeting that final repatriation of Bru people from Tripura would be conducted according to the agreement made between the state government and civil societies before the Lok Sabha polls in April.

She said that identification of Bru people would be required in order to prepare a new list as the existing list which was made based on re-identification in 2018 has to be reviewed because some families were classified as “others” in the list.

She added that the Bru families, when repatriated should be sent to their respective assembly constituencies in Mizoram as per the guidelines of the Bru repatriation.

The meeting also highlighted that at least 822 Bru families would be repatriated to 10 villages within Kolasib district. Only two families had returned to the district during the repatriation exercise last year.

Leaders of village councils, where the Bru families would be repatriated, informed the meeting about the inconveniences and put forth suggestions. They said that the higher authorities should be approached on matters of five villages -- Bukvannei, Meidum, Pangbalkawn, North Thinglian and Saihapui (K) as the Bru settlement would affect forest plantation there.

The local leaders also told the meeting that the proposal for repatriation of 79 Bru families at Rastali village should be reviewed as the place where the government planned to lodge them belongs to private.

Nearly 35,000 Bru people are still camping at six relief camps in North Tripura district since 1997.

Several attempts by the Centre as well as the government of Mizoram and Tripura to repatriate them went futile as the Bru tribal reluctant to return citing security reasons and inadequate rehabilitation packages.

In the last repatriation process between August and September last year, 150 refugees from 42 out of 5,407 families returned to Mizoram after the Centre decided to stop dolling out ration to the refugees.