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Centre extends repatriation deadline for Bru migrants living in Tripura till March 31

Central government started 8th phase of repatriation for Bru migrants from August 25, 2018 as per a four-corner agreement signed with refugee leaders, state governments of Tripura and Mizoram. However, the repatriation package offered to them was rejected by most refugees, who claimed it was ‘insufficient’.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala (tripura) |
Updated: January 15, 2019 3:36:11 pm
During the repatriation process which continued till September 25, only 150 refugees from 42 families were repatriated to Mizoram. (File) 

The central government has extended ration supplies and cash dole given to Bru migrants living in relief camps of North Tripura till March 31, officials said Tuesday. Over 37 thousand people from Bru community fled Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram during ethnic clashes in 1997. They were sheltered in six relief camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-division of North Tripura district, where 32 thousand still remain.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Kanchanpur sub-divisional magistrate Abhedananda Baidya Tuesday informed that a letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed earlier this month that assistance to Bru migrants would continue till March 31, 2019.

“…it has been decided with the approval of competent authority to extend the deadline for repatriation of Bru migrants from Tripura to Mizoram till 31st March 2019. The assistance to them in the form of foodgrains and cash dole may also be continued till 31st March  2019”, the letter from MHA Under Secretary NR Minz to Tripura Chief Secretary Lalit Kumar Gupta informed.

Mizoram Chief Secretary was informed the same. However, there is no communication from Mizoram with the Tripura over the subject since then.

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Central government started 8th phase of repatriation for Bru migrants from August 25 2018, as per a four-corner agreement signed with refugee leaders, state governments of Tripura and Mizoram. However, the repatriation package offered to them was rejected by most refugees, who claimed it was ‘insufficient’.

During repatriation process which continued till September 25, only 150 refugees from 42 families were repatriated to Mizoram and over 32 thousand still remain sheltered in six transit camps in Tripura.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) halted all relief supplies from October 01 last year after the repatriation failed. However, supplies resumed 21 days later as severe food crisis started in the Bru camps.

The resumption order said the supplies would continue till January 15, 2019. The fresh order which came from MHA has extended the same till March 31.

The central rehabilitation package granted to Bru migrants living in Tripura in 1998 currently allows Rs. 5 per day to each adult migrant, Rs. 2.5 to each minor, 600-gram rice to each adult on a daily basis, three soaps in a year, one paid of slippers every year and a mosquito net in every three years.

While cash dole and rice would be continued till March 31, there is no word from MHA about other benefits, Kanchanpur SDM Baidya informed.

Earlier on Monday, Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples’ Forum (MBDPF), a Bru coordination committee in Tripura, sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Guha and MHA Joint Secretary Satyendra Garg seeking to continue free ration, cash dole and other relief facilities for Bru migrants living in relief camps in Tripura.

MBDPF general secretary Bruno Msha has also requested the Prime Minister to instruct Election Commission of India (ECI) for setting up polling booths inside Bru transit camps in Tripura to avoid hardships faced by them during Mizoram assembly polls in November last year.

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