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20 more Bru families return to Lunglei district

 AIZAWL, Oct 26 - As many as 81 Bru refugees, including 30 children, belonging to 20 families were repatriated to Lunglei district in the third repatriation batch. The repatriated Bru families safely reached Lunglei around 10.30 pm on Friday and were sheltered in the 2nd Bn Mizoram Armed Police headquarters, an official release stated.

They were received at the police headquarters by Lunglei Deputy Commissioner K Lalrinzuali, 2nd Bn CO Saidingliana and other officials.

Addressing the Bru families, the DC said the Government was serious about the repatriation process, and that their temporary shelters and permanent housing sites have been diligently planned. She urged the families to take immediate steps for constructing their permanent houses with the financial assistance provided by the Government as it would not be possible to stay in the temporary shelters for a long time.

The DC assured the repatriated families that they would be escorted by the police while proceeding to the villages where they would be permanently resettled. She added that medical staff from the Health and Family Welfare Department would attend to their health issues whenever necessary.

Each of the families was provided Rs 25,000 for construction of houses and Rs 5,000 for purchase of essential items.

After breakfast at the police headquarters, the Bru families were escorted to their respective villages today. The 20 families will be resettled in four villages – Dinthar, Putlungasih, Buknuam and Chawilung ‘S’ – in Lunglei district.

During the ongoing ninth and final phase of repatriation, 364 Bru families comprising 2,051 people, will be repatriated to Lunglei district. So far, only 68 families comprising 262 people have been repatriated.

The Bru refugees living at six relief camps in Tripura since 1997 are to be repatriated to three districts in Mizoram – Lunglei, Mamit and Kolasib. Currently, nearly 4,000 Bru families are settled in six camps – three each at Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivisions of North district of Tripura, around 200 km from Agartala.

Over 80 Bru families have been repatriated to Mizoram since October 1 from the six camps. Bru organisations have protested against the current repatriation process, as they did on earlier occasions, raising several demands before the Central and Mizoram governments.

Meanwhile, the Central Government has stopped rations supplies and cash benefits to the relief camps since the last 25 days. Demanding the Central Government to resume the supply of rations, the Bru refugees have allegedly threatened to loot government godowns.

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