Hope floats for settlement of Bru refugees in Tripura

There is some hope for nearly 32,000 Bru refugees regarding their demand for settlement in Tripura. (AFP Photo)

There is some hope for nearly 32,000 Bru refugees regarding their demand for settlement in Tripura, instead of "forceful repatriation" to Mizoram.

As the refugees refused to go back to Mizoram as per the present rehabilitation package announced by the Centre, -led Tripura government has sought financial support from the Ministry of Home Affairs for their resettlement in the state. "The government is willing to resettle them in Tripura but it is not possible without a special package from the Centre," sources in said.

The Brus or have been living in at least six relief camps in since they fled their villages in Mizoram following ethnic strife in 1997.

The Centre had set for repatriation of all the refugees to Mizoram but sources said the government would now wait for the Centre's nod for resettlement in Tripura instead of pushing them to Mizoram. The government had earlier stopped ration supply after the refugees refused to go back to Mizoram. At least six inmates died allegedly due to shortage of food in their camps. 

The government had also identified 43 locations in Mamit, eight in Kolasib and six in Lungtlei districts of Mizoram for their resettlement. 

Sources said Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb sought home minister Amit Shah's nod after Pradyut Manikya Debabarma, the scion of had shot a letter to the MHA recently seeking their rehabilitation in Tripura itself. asked why the indigenous Bru refugees could not be rehabilitated in Tripura when the Centre was pressing for the Citizenship Amendment Bill to offer citizenship to Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  

This, according to sources, came as a warning to BJP that Debabarma could garner political mileage as he is planning to launch his own party. Debabarma recently quit as president of Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee. 

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