AIZAWL, Sept 26 - At least 11 more Bru families returned from Tripura to Mizoram today even as the deadline for repatriation expired on Tuesday evening, Mizoram Home Department officials said.
Lalbiaksangi, Joint Secretary of the Mizoram State Home Department, said this evening that 11 Bru families were repatriated to Mamit district of Mizoram today. �Although 17 families are said to have returned to Mizoram according to initial information, only 11 families returned from the relief camps in Tripura today. The refugees will be resettled in Mamit district,� the official added.
Of the 11 Bru families comprising 67 people, seven families will settle down in Sihthiang village, three in Bungthuam village and one family in Bawrai village � all in Mamit district, an official release stated. The repatriated families were given Rs 5,000 each as compensation, the release added.
Lalbiaksangi said that the State Government would cooperate with the Union Home Ministry in repatriating willing Bru families although the deadline for repatriation has already expired on Tuesday evening.
According to Lalbiaksangi, 17 Bru families, which repatriated from the Hazacherra relief camp on September 19, are currently lodged at a makeshift camp at Tlabung town in Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the Mizoram Bru Displaced People�s Coordination Committee (MBDPCC) has reiterated that the Bru families will not return to Mizoram unless the Centre fulfils its charter of demands.
MBDPCC president Laldingliana Reang said they had submitted seven demands to the Union Home Ministry, to which they have not received any response so far. The MBDPCC has demanded creation of an area development council for Brus in Mizoram, allocation of five hectares of land to each refugee family, cluster villages with each housing at least 500 families, Rs 4 lakh compensation to each family before repatriation and revision of the electoral rolls in relief camps.
Reang said that they would return to Mizoram if the Centre fulfils at least �some important points� of their demands.
Earlier, the Centre had warned that it would stop doling out free rations to the Bru refugees from October 1 and close down all the relief camps in Tripura once the repatriation process is over (on September 25).
Reang said that they would appeal to the Centre to continue extending free rations to the refugees, failing which they would resort to a democratic agitation.
Thousands of Brus fled Mizoram and settled in Tripura following violence triggered by the murder of a Mizo forest guard by Bru militants in 1997.
According to the quadripartite agreement signed among the Centre, representatives of the Mizoram and Tripura governments and Bru leaders on July 3, about 32,876 Bru people belonging to 5,407 families would return to Mizoram from August.