~ Henry L Khojol

Aizawl, 9 August, 2016, Virthli (ONP): Mizoram government has planned to repatriate displaced Bru families living in six transit camps in Tripura from first November. However, approval is being awaited from the central government, state home department official said.

Additional secretary for state home department Lalbiakzama said the state government has submitted detailed movement plan under Road Map - 5 for Bru repatriation process to Ministry of Home Affairs. As per the road mad, November has been proposed for the time to begin Bru repatriation which would be done in different phases.

The repatriated Bru would be asked to live at their respective assembly constituency which they belong before they fled Mizoram and the Brus families who enrolled themselves in 1995 Mizoram Electoral roll would be repatriated along with their descendants.

Ministry of Home Affairs has proposed to form a Joint Monitoring Committee involving the central government, Mizoram and Tripura government for the displaced Brus but the proposed committee has not been formed till date.

Meanwhile, Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) has recently informed Ministry of Home affairs about their various demands which include cluster living at certain place after their return to Mizoram.

The effort to repatriate 3,500 Bru families during June to September in 2015 failed as not a single Bru came forward in their respective relief camps before the Mizoram officials, to be identified as bona fide residents of Mizoram.

Thousands of Bru families fled Mizoram and migrated to Tripura due to communal tension triggered by the murder of Lalzawmliana, a game watcher near Persang hamlet inside the Mizoram-Bangladesh-Tripura border Dampa Tiger Reserve, by suspected Bru militants on October 21, 1997.
The first effort to repatriate them from November 16, 2009, was not only scuttled by the murder of one Zarzokima of Bungthuam village three days earlier, but triggered another round of exodus.
Though a number of Bru families returned to Mizoram during repeated repatriation process and some of them returned on their own, a sizeable number of families remained in the neighbouring State.

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