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Ahead of repatriation, some Bru refugees start hunger strike
Staff Correspondent
 AGARTALA, July 13 - A section of Reang (Bru) refugees here have launched a hunger strike ahead of the proposed repatriation of over 30,000 of these internally displaced people.

It may be mentioned here that a tripartite agreement was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and the chief ministers of Mizoram and Tripura in Delhi on July 3, to pave the way for the repatriation of Bru refugees living in camps in Tripura.

A package was announced for each Bru family at the time of signing of the agreement. Every Bru family, after repatriation, is supposed to receive Rs 4 lakh apart from free rations and Rs 5,000 per month for the next two years for resettlement.

But events have taken a new turn after the Bru leaders returned to the refugee camps in Kanchanpur subdivision of north Tripura after attending the meeting in New Delhi.

“A section of refugees sheltered in the Naisingpara camp at Kanchapur subdivision have started a fast. As a precautionary measure, additional forces have been deployed there,” said a senior police officer from Kanchanpur today.

Significantly, no refugee leader has been seen at the venue of the agitation. But tension has mounted following the sudden development.

Sources said that the agitators are demanding advance payment of the rehabilitation package amounting to Rs 4 lakh. No refugee leader could be contacted for comments in this regard.

Under the latest agreement, over 30,000 Bru refugees living in Tripura are supposed to return to their home State, Mizoram, by September 30. All the six camps in Tripura where they are presently staying will have to be closed down by the first week of October.

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