Deadline for Bru refugees to return 'house' passes, few want to return

KOLKATA: Mizoram's ninth and supposed final repatriation phase of his camps ended on Saturday, but the process is currently in suspended animation.

Only about 10 of the approximately 5,000 families have returned to Mizoram since Brus launched a road block in Kanchanpur, North Tripura district, protesting the suspension of the government ration in early November, which allegedly caused the death of six people, a leader Bru said.

In addition to the confusion, the recent letter from Tripura Prime Minister Biplab Deb to the Center is looking for a financial package to resettle some 500 families in the state. It is assumed that the supply of government rations to the seven in the Panisagar and Kanchanpur subdivisions of North Tripura will also be withdrawn after Saturday, which triggers fear of another crisis.

We do not know what will happen after November 30. We will call a meeting after Saturday and talk to our people, see what they want to do, said Bruno Msha, general secretary of the Forum of Displaced Peoples of Mizoram Bru (MBDPF), one of several organizations representing the Brus. Msha also said that Deb's resettlement offer had not been officially transmitted to refugees. “We learned it from the media. We have not been officially told what the state government plan is, ”he said.

When asked if MBDPF was planning protests like the one in early November, Msha said: “We can only decide that if the government stops the food supply. If people do not want to return to Mizoram, they cannot be forced, he added.

Government officials also await instructions. “We have no information from our superiors about what happens after Saturday. We were asked to provide Brus with a one-month ration, which we have done, said Abhedananda Baidya, the subdivisional magistrate of the Kanchanpur subdivision. He added that he had not yet received the autopsy report of two Bru adults whose remains were exhumed for evidence after allegations of starvation.

The prime minister’s offer to resettle some 500 families in Tripura came shortly after former state congressional president and kingpin Pradyot Debburman also wrote to Interior Minister Amit Shah to request resettlement of the Brus in the state. Both Deb and Debburman have said that many Bru families in the makeshift camps were originally inhabitants of Tripura and had moved to Mizoram and other places after being displaced by the Dumbur hydel project in the 1970s.

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