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Bru refugee body sets new conditions for return


AGARTALA, Nov 21 - The Mizoram Bru Displaced People�s Forum (MBDPF), the apex body of Reang refugees sheltered in the six relief camps of Tripura, today placed two new demands for their repatriation to Mizoram.

The new demands include resettlement of all Bru families in and around the Dampa Tiger Wildlife Sanctuary in Mizoram and a permanent development package for all refugees under Union ministries like the DoNER, Tribal Welfare and Minority Welfare.

�The Bru people sheltered in the relief camps are not happy with the special package provided under the agreement signed in New Delhi in September, 2018. We have sacrificed as many as four demands, including that of an autonomous council, in the wake of the rigid stand taken by Mizoram Government,� Bruno Mshe, general secretary of the MBDPF, said.

Mshe told reporters that the proposed places of resettlement are scattered and not suitable for the Reang community as the scope for jhum cultivation is very limited.

�We have resolved to place the two demands as precondition for repatriation to Mizoram,� he stressed.

Meshe maintained that the Dampa Wildlife Sanctuary has been chosen as �we were forced to leave the wildlife sanctuary way back in 1986�. �As there is not a single tiger left there, the Government could rehabilitate us there easily,� he said.

Asserting that the Brus do not want to stay in the relief camps any more, the MBDPF leader requested the Central Government to convince the Mizoram Government for an amicable solution to the 23-year-old problem.

On being asked about Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb�s recent communication with the Centre expressing his willingness to settle the Bru refugees in Tripura, Meshe said, �We are sons of Mizoram and want to settle there. If it is not possible, the refugees will be happy to stay here.�

With the MBDPF taking a new stand on repatriation, the ongoing repatriation exercise, monitored by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, has been derailed again.

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