India News

51 Bru families return to Mizoram: officials

New Delhi, Oct 6: As many as 51 families belonging to displaced Bru tribals, who have been living in Tripura as refugees, have returned to Mizoram in fresh efforts for their repatriation, officials said on Sunday.

A total of about 5,400 Bru families comprising nearly 40,000 people have been living in Tripura in different relief camps since 1997 following ethnic clashes between Bru and Mizo communities in Mizoram.

“A total of 51 families have been repatriated to Mizoram from Tripura in the past three days,” Tripura Additional Chief Secretary Kumar Alok told PTI over the phone.

The central and Tripura governments are optimistic that the Bru families would return to Mizoram during this final repatriation process as part of an agreement signed last year.

Kumar said each of the Bru family will be given Rs 1.6 lakh as assistance for constructing a house, a plot and Rs 4 lakh would be deposited in the bank account of the head of the each repatriated Bru family.

The deposit will mature only after three years of uninterrupted stay in Mizoram.

Each repatriated family will also be given Rs 6,000 through the direct benefit transfer every month and free ration for three years.

A Union Home Ministry official said the relief given to the Bru families in Tripura could be stopped if they didn’t return to Mizoram and they would be entitled to the relief only in Mizoram from now onwards.

A section of Bru leaders have reportedly been resisting repatriation due to certain “vested interest”.

“However, it is a good sign that despite opposition from some leaders, Bru families are keen on returning to Mizoram, the official said.

More than 2,000 families have returned to Mizoram in the past 10 years and they are living there without any difficulty.

“So, we are encouraging other Bru families to return,” another official said.

PTI

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