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Bru refugees place fresh demands for repatriation

 AIZAWL, Sept 20 - The Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), an umbrella organisation of Bru refugees lodged in six relief camps of North Tripura, has made several fresh demands to return to Mizoram. The ninth and final repatriation process will begin from early October.

Signed by its president, A Sawibunga, and general secretary Bruno Msha, the MBDPF submitted a letter to Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Thursday here and called for rearrangement of 14 proposed resettlement villages in Mamit district. There are “no sufficient lands for habitation” in the proposed resettlement villages in Mamit district, the organisation said.

It suggested that the Bru refugees should be resettled in one village in Lunglei district and six villages in Mamit, in lieu of the proposed 14 villages. The organisation also demanded that the villages, proposed for resettlement of the Bru refugees, should be jointly inspected by the MBDPF leaders, heads of the families and State government officials before commencement of the repatriation process.

Freedom should be given to the displaced Bru families to settle in any districts – Lunglei, Mamit and Kolasib at Mizoram – and Assam border, the MBDPF said.

It also demanded reidentification of 1,218 families who did not turn up during the second phase of identification in July this year. Some families, who were rejected by the officials during the July re-identification as not being bona fide residents of Mizoram, should also be reconsidered and given the same rehabilitation package, the letter said.

The Centre had approved of an amount of Rs 350 crore for the ninth phase of Bru repatriation from the relief camps in Tripura.

The Centre and the governments of Mizoram and Tripura have made multiple attempts to repatriate the Brus to their home State since 2009, but the majority of them stayed back in the relief camps, citing inadequate rehabilitation package. – PTI

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