AIZAWL, May 7 – Repatriation of the Bru refugees will resume on May 10.
According to official sources, 37 families in Ashapara camp, 27 in Hazachera camp and 17 in Naisingpara camp have been identified for repatriation.
Sources said sub divisional magistrate of Kanchandpur, DK Chakma will arrange transport for the movement of the refugees who are to report to the facilitation centre in Kanhmun.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Bru Co-ordination Committee (BCC) headed by their president, Elvis Chorky met Mizoram Governor, Lt Gen MM Lakhera in Raj Bhavan today and submitted the grievances of the repatriated Bru families.
According to the BCC press release, the problems being faced by the repatriated Bru families include non-payment of cash assistance, problems in drawing ration from the godowns which are far away from the place of their rehabilitation centres and supply of water and electricity. The BCC leaders also requested the Governor to take initiative for opening at least one Central School in Mamit district and launching of ‘special development project’ covering the people in the western belt.
The BCC also requested the Union Home Ministry through the Governor for extension of free ration to the repatriated Bru families for two years as the repatriation was too late for starting jhum cultivation this year. The Bru leaders also met Mizoram Home Secretary Lalmalsawma and requested him to look into the so-called discrepancies in the process of repatriation of the refugees.
It is pertinent to note that hundreds of Brus left Mizoram in 1997 and 2009. The first case was triggered when Bru militants murdered two Mizos who were forest guards on October 21, 1997. The second case happened after a 17-year-old Mizo boy was killed by the Brus near Bungthuam village on November 13, 2009.
Meanwhile, a recent head count conducted by the MBDPF found that there have been 31,703 Brus in the relief camps belonging to 5,448 families who are bonafide residents of Mizoram.
The repatriation of the 1997 batch of Bru refugees was underway until it was stalled by the November 13 killing.