Over 32,000 Bru refugees are taking shelter in various camps in Tripura

Agartala: Ahead of the ensuing polls in neighbouring Mizoram, the BJP-led government in Tripura has resumed the supply of ration to Bru refugees taking shelter in the state on Monday. The scheme will continue will January 15 next year, said reports.

Tripura education minister Ratan Lal Nath inaugurated the scheme under the ministry of home affairs (MHA) at a programme held in Nishing Para, Kanchanpur on Monday.

Soon after the deadline for repatriation to Mizoram ended on October 1, the Centre had discontinued all forms of subsistence allowances, including ration supplies and cash to Bru refugees sheltered in relief camps in Tripura. Over 32,000 Bru refugees are staying in various camps in Tripura.

Talking to EastMojo, Abhedananda Baidya, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Kanchanpur said that the state government has decided to resume the supplies until the election gets over. “And once the election is over, the repatriation process will start again in a democratic way,” Baidya added.

Around 40 families of Bru refugees were repatriated from six relief camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions in North Tripura district from August 25 to September 25.

Earlier on July 3, as per an agreement signed between the Centre, the Mizoram and Tripura governments and the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum, 5,407 families, comprising of 32,876 persons staying in temporary refugee camps in Tripura, were to be repatriated to Mizoram before September 30.

However, sources in the BJP claim that the party wants the refugees to be sent back to their home state ahead of the polls in Mizoram. “It becomes very important for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to get votes from the Bru refugees to win over their arch-rival Congress in both the states,” sources claimed.

Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb is also scheduled to visit Mizoram for election campaigns from October 23 along with BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav.

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