30 Bru families return to Mizoram after 2 decades

30 Bru families return to Mizoram after 2 decades

Displaced Bru refugee families board a bus to return to Mizoram as part of a home ministry sponsored rehabilitation package, in Agartala on Wednesday. PTI

At least 30 Bru refugee families, who have been living in camps in Tripura for over two decades, returned to Mizoram on Wednesday as part of a Home Ministry-monitored rehabilitation package, an official said.

The Bru families would be given a one-time financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh, a house, a monthly assistance of Rs 5,000 and free ration for two years as per the agreement signed by the representatives of the Bru refugees, the governments of Mizoram and Tripura and the Centre.

"About 30 Bru (Reang) families from Tripura are going back to Mizoram after 20 years as part of central repatriation package," a senior Home Ministry official told PTI.

A total of 5,407 Bru families, who were displaced from Mizoram due to ethnic tension, have been living in various camps in Tripura since 1997.

The process started on Wednesday after a group of refugees walked out of the agreement signed in July claiming inadequate compensation for their rehabilitation.

The return of 30 Bru families were first since 1997 when around 8,000 Bru refugees have gone back to Mizoram in six batches and have been living peacefully in the state since then.

The total number of Bru community members is 32,876, who belong to 5,407 families currently living in temporary camps in Tripura.

The cost of the entire exercise will be Rs 435 crore till 2020-21 which will be provided by the home ministry.

The Mizoram government will ensure security of all repatriated refugees who were identified and verified as per the 1997 electoral rolls of Mizoram.

The Tripura government will ensure that Aadhaar cards are issued to all of them, a bank account is opened and updation of ration cards is undertaken for each of the Bru migrant families.

Eklavya residential schools, making available Jhum cultivation land, issuance of permanent residential and ST certificates, and a special development project for Bru families are the other measures planned for the cohesive resettlement of these families in Mizoram.

The central government, so far, has given Rs 348.90 crore to the Tripura government for the expenses it incurred on maintenance of the Bru familes and Rs 68.90 crore to the Mizoram government for providing assistance to the 8,000 Bru refugees who had already gone back to the state.

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