Over 32,000 Bru refugees living in transit camps in North Tripura district will not have any ration supplies and cash dole from January 15 this year, officials said. Speaking to indianexpress.com, Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Abhedananda Baidya Wednesday said that as per previous instructions, cash dole and ration supplies are being provided to Bru relief camps and would continue till January 15.
Central government started the eighth phase of repatriation of Bru refugees from August 25, 2018, as per a four-corner agreement signed with refugee leaders. However, the repatriation package offered to them was rejected by most of the refugees, saying it was ‘insufficient’
During the repatriation process which continued till September 25, only 150 refugees from 42 families were repatriated to Mizoram and 32,000 still remain sheltered in six transit camps in Tripura.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) halted all relief supplies from October 1 last year after the repatriation failed. However, supplies resumed three weeks later as severe food crisis had started in the Bru camps.
“…it was conveyed…… that assistance being extended to the Bru migrants in the form of foodgrains, cash doles will be available till 30th September, 2018. In view of the prevailing situation, it has been decided that the deadline for repatriation of these Bru migrant families be extended till 15th January, 2019. The assistance to them in the form of foodgrains and cash doles may also be continued till 15th January, 2019”, MHA Joint Secretary Satyendra Garg said in his letter to Tripura last year.
Referring to the order, Kanchanpur SDM Abhedananda Baidya Wednesday said, “Since there is no fresh instruction to this end, the previous order will stand. Cash dole and relief supplies will continue till January 15 and if no new order comes from the centre, the supplies shall be halted”.
Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) secretary Bruno Msha said he was aware of the impending disruption of ration and relief supplies. “We shall write to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking his intervention in a day or two”, Msha told indianexpress.com.
37,000 people of Bru community fled Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram in 1997-98 in the face of ethnic clashes. They were sheltered in six relief camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions of North Tripura. Since then, around 7,000 people have gone back to Mizoram in eight phases of repatriation.