AIZAWL, Sept 26 - With only a week left for the ninth and final repatriation of Bru refugees from Tripura to their home State Mizoram, preparations for the exercise are on in full swing, an official said here today. Altogether 4,447 Bru families, lodged in six relief camps in Tripura, are scheduled to return to the neighbouring State from where they had fled since 1997 following ethnic clashes. The exercise is slated from October 3.
�We informed the Bru people in the relief camps through their leaders that elaborate arrangements have been made for their return to Mizoram,� State Home Secretary Lalbiakzama said after a meeting of all the stakeholders.
Besides Lalbiakzama, officials of Mizoram and Tripura governments and representatives of the Bru refugees living in relief camps attended the meeting, possibly the last one before the physical repatriation starts.
�There was no time for making fresh demands,� Lalbiakzama said about the demands recently made by the apex body of the refugees, Mizoram Bru Displaced People�s Forum, as a precondition to return to Mizoram.
The Centre has approved of Rs 350 crore for the ninth phase of repatriation and the amount covers transportation and rehabilitation package expenses, which include Rs 5,000 per month for each resettled Bru family in Mizoram and free rations for them for two years.
The Mizoram Government has identified members of 4,447 Bru families lodged in the relief camps as bona fide residents of the State last month. The Home Secretary had earlier said all the identified families expressed willingness to return to Mizoram. � PTI