AIZAWL/AGARTALA, Aug 11 - The final repatriation of 5,407 Bru refugee families from Tripura to Mizoram, scheduled to start from August 14, was deferred to August 25, a Mizoram Home Department official said here today.
However, the refugees have staged demonstrations in camps, saying their demands for more sops were not conceded.
The Mizoram official said the deferment was due to unpreparedness of a section of the inmates of the relief camps at the Kanchanpur subdivision in North Tripura district.
As per the revised plan, the repatriation process was expected to be completed by September 25 and not September 10, as scheduled earlier, he said.
�There were some Bru family members who were yet to complete the process of securing documents such as ration card, Aadhaar card, bank account,� the official said.
The decision that the repatriation would start from August 25 was made at a meeting attended by officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and others yesterday, Additional District Magistrate of North Tripura Aditi Majumder said.
However, Bru refugees demonstrated in their camps, saying MHA officials did not concede to their demands of an Area Development Council (ADC) for them, cluster villages, one-time cash assistance and increased land allotment for agriculture and sustenance.
�The MHA officials have straightaway denied these demands and said nothing more than the assurances made in the agreement with the Central Government can be given,� Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Coordination Committee (MBDPCC) president L Laldingliana said.
The MBDPCC is a new organisation, while the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) had signed the July 3 agreement with Centre and the Governments of Mizoram and Tripura for repatriation of over 32,000 Bru refugees.
MBDPF secretary Bruno Meska also met the MHA officials and demanded cluster villages after repatriation.
As per the agreement, the refugees would be given a package of Rs 1.5 lakh for housing assistance, Rs 4 lakh for sustenance, free rations for two years and Rs 5,000 per month.
The cash assistance would be provided after three years of uninterrupted stay in Mizoram and housing assistance would be given in three instalments.
Altogether 32,876 Brus belonging to 5,407 families are lodged in six relief camps in Tripura.
The Brus have been in Tripura since late 1997 in the wake of a communal tension triggered by the murder of a forest guard inside the Dampa Tiger Reserve on October 21, 1997 by Bru National Liberation Front militants. The first attempt to repatriate them in 2009 failed and triggered another wave of exodus after the killing of a youth three days before the commencement of the repatriation process.
Though some Bru families had returned to Mizoram during a number of repatriation processes and on their own, many of them refused to leave Tripura. � PTI