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Centre takes tough stand on Bru repatriation issue
Prabir Sil
 AGARTALA, Aug 12 - Worried by the floating of a new refugee body – Mizoram Bru Displaced Coordination Committee (MBDCC) which has derailed the repatriation of refugees, Centre has taken a tough stand to break the impending deadlock.

A high level team headed by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Special Secretary (Internal Secretary) Rina Mitra visited Kanchanpur subdivision in Tripura to take stock of the prevailing situation.

A meeting was held at Damcherrra RD Block’s conference hall in Kanchanpur subdivision where a threadbare discussion on the latest situation took place on Friday. Senior officials DM and SP of North Tripura district and a senior Secretary level official from Mizoram were present in the meeting.

Although there have been no official words from the MHA officials or the State Government officials, it has been learnt that the Centre wants to resume repatriation of Bru refugees next month at any cost.

Sources said, district administrations of both States were asked to carry forward all necessary official works so that repatriation could resume on scheduled date.

Recently, a section of refugees floated a new organisation – MBDCC ousting the old one – Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) and raised seven demands before the Central Government as precondition for refugee repatriation. MBDCC leaders categorically said they have not accepted the historic repatriation agreement signed on July 3 in Delhi in presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Clouds of uncertainty started gathering following the ‘development’. Tripura Government has taken up the issue with the MHA. After getting feedback from the State, Mitra along with Mahesh Kumar Singhla, a senior MHA official and Joint Secretary of MHA Satyendra Garg rushed to Damcherra on Friday to prepare a roadmap for pushing the much-awaited repatriation of refugees.

As per the agreement, Bru refugees sheltered in six relief camps in North Tripura’s Kanchanpur and Panisagar are supposed to return to their homeland – Mizoram by September 30. All the temporary relief camps are to be shut down by first week of October next to put an end to the vexed refugee problem. The Bru families would be resettled in 46 villages in Mamit district, 40 villages in Kolasib district and four villages in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district.

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