Bru refugees place fresh demands on repatriation


Aizawl: The MBDPF, an umbrella organisation of the Bru refugees lodged in six relief camps in North Tripura, has made several fresh demands to return to Mizoram.

The ninth and final repatriation process will begin from early October.

Signed by its president A. Sawibunga and general secretary Bruno Msha, the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) has submitted a letter to Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Thursday here and suggested for rearrangement of 14 proposed resettlement villages in Mamit district.

There are “no sufficient lands for habitation” in the proposed resettlement villages in Mamit district, the organisation said.

They suggested that the Bru refugees should be resettled in one village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district and six villages in Mamit, in lieu of the proposed 14 villages.

The organisation also demanded that the villages, proposed for resettlement of the Bru refugees, should be jointly inspected by the MBDPF leaders, heads of the families and state government officials before commencement of the repatriation process.

Freedom should be given to the displaced Bru families to settle in any districts – Lunglei, Mamit and Kolasib at Mizoram-Assam border, the MBDPF said.

They also demanded reidentification of 1,218 families who did not turn up during the second phase of identification in July this year.

Some families, who were rejected by the officials during July re-identification as not belonging to bona fide residents of Mizoram, should also be reconsidered and given the same rehabilitation package, the letter said.

The Centre had approved an amount of Rs 350 crore for the ninth phase of Bru repatriation from six relief camps of neighbouring Tripura.

The displaced families who migrated to Tripura from Mizoram in the wake of the murder of a youth at Bungthuam village by Bru militants on November 13, 2009, three days before the first phase of repatriation, should also be included and rehabilitated, the letter said.

The Centre and the governments of Mizoram and Tripura have made multiple attempts to repatriate the Brus to their home state since 2009, but the majority of them stayed back in the relief camps, citing inadequate rehabilitation package.

Thousands of Brus fled to Tripura in 1997 in the wake of a communal tension triggered by the killing of a forest guard by militants inside Dampa Tiger Reserve. (PTI)