Aizawl: With one family that returned on Saturday, as many as 190 families of Bru refugees from neighbouring Tripura have returned to Mizoram in the ongoing final round of repatriation.
According to a source from the state’s home department, it was informed that a total of five members belonging to one family from Kaskau relief camp in Tripura returned on Saturday on their own.
“The family will be resettled at Bajirungpa village in Mamit district,” he added.
He further informed that nearly 48 members belonging to 11 families returned to Mizoram on their own on Friday.
He revealed that many Bru families returned to Mizoram on their own after the Bru leaders served diktat to Bru families not to return to Mizoram.
“Though many Bru families were willing to return to Mizoram and accepted the repatriation package decided by the meeting of the joint monitoring group of Bru repatriation held on July 3 in New Delhi, they were afraid to return due to diktat from the Bru leaders,” the official said.
On October 23, at least 81 people belonging to 20 families from Hazacherra relief camp were repatriated to Mizoram and the families reached Lunglei safely on Saturday evening. Altogether 190 Bru families have so far returned to Mizoram in the ensuing repatriation that began from October 3, this year.
As many as 4,410 Bru families were identified as bona fide residents of Mizoram during the identification that was conducted in July this year.
The Bru families residing at six relief camps set up in Tripura had staged a rally to protest against the ongoing repatriation, blocked Mizoram officials and submitted a memorandum to the Centre on several occasions.
On October 21, the Bru refugees had staged protest rally and had written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and special secretary (internal security) in the Union Home ministry A.P. Maheshwari.
The Bru people had raised new demands stating that Dampa Tiger reserve in Mamit district should be vacated for settlement of the repatriated families and they also urged the Centre to stop Mizoram government to sent vehicles to relief camps for repatriation.
The Bru leaders also wrote to North Tripura district deputy commissioner informing him that the Bru families in six relief camps had face livelihood problem after the Centre stopped dolling out ration and cash assistance to the refugees from early October.
The Bru leaders also asked the Centre to resume distribution of rations and financial assistance to the Bru inmates.
Notably, the ongoing repatriation process is scheduled to be concluded by November 30, this year