AIZAWL, Oct 27 - As many as 190 families of Bru refugees have returned to Mizoram so far from neighbouring Tripura in the ongoing final round of repatriation.
An official of the Mizoram Home Department today said that five members belonging to a Bru family from Kaskau relief camp in Tripura have returned on Saturday on their own. The family will be resettled at Bajirungpa village in Mamit district, he said.
The official said that 48 members belonging to 11 Bru families have also returned to Mizoram on their own on Friday.
According to him, many Bru families returned to Mizoram on their own after the Bru leaders served a diktat to them not to return to Mizoram.
Though many Bru families were willing to return to Mizoram and accepted the repatriation package decided by the meeting of joint monitoring group of Bru repatriation held on July 3 in New Delhi, they were afraid to do so due to the diktat issued by the Bru leaders, the official added.
On October 23, at least 81 people belonging to 20 Bru families from Hazacherra relief camp were repatriated to Mizoram and the families reached Lunglei safely on Saturday evening. With this, altogether 190 Bru families have so far returned to Mizoram in the ensuing repatriation that began on October 3.
As many as 4,410 Bru families were identified as bona fide residents of Mizoram during the identification process carried out in July. The Bru families at six relief camps in Tripura had staged protests against the ongoing repatriation, blocked Mizoram officials and submitted memorandums to the Centre on several occasions.
On October 21, the Brus had staged a protest rally and had written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Union Home Ministry AP Maheshwari.
The Bru people had raised new demands stating that the repatriated Bru families should be allowed to settle in Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mamit district of Mizoram.
The Bru leaders also wrote to the North Tripura district Deputy Commissioner informing him that the Bru families in six relief camps had faced livelihood crisis after the Centre stopped dolling out rations and cash assistance to the refugees from early October.
The Bru leaders also asked the Centre to resume distribution of free rations and financial assistance to the Bru inmates. The ongoing repatriation is scheduled to end on November 30.