AGARTALA, Sept 29 - Miffed by the indifference of the Reang refugees lodged at six camps in north Tripura towards the repatriation process despite the Centre�s assurances of rehabilitation, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to completely stop supply of free rations to the refugees from October 1.
This has been decided as a pressure tactic to persuade the refugees and their leaders to return home on the agreed plan of the rehabilitation package. All inmates of the Kanchanpur and Panisagar camps in North Tripura district have been apprised of the decision by the respective subdivisional administrations.
The return of the refugees recently commenced following pressure from the MHA, but the leaders of the Mizoram Bru Displaced Coordination Committee (MBDCC) has allegedly been stalling the process of repatriation ever since 35,000 Bru people entered Tripura on and from October 15, 1997.
During the past 21 years, many attempts made by the MHA and the Mizoram Government failed to break the deadlock due to the demands raised by the refugee leaders.
Recently, senior MHA officials put pressure on the refugee leaders and camp inmates to return to Mizoram and avail themselves of the rehabilitation package.
The repatriation process also started on a low-key note as the refugee leaders created fresh trouble. The MHA has now decided to suspend rations supply and other benefits to the inmates with effect from October 1.
The subdivisional administration at Kanchanpur has already informed the refugees about the MHA�s decision and asked them to get in touch with the Government if they want to return to Mizoram.
As per the agreement inked in New Delhi in the presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, refugee camps in Tripura housing Brus are scheduled to be closed down by the first week of October this year.
Out of the total 35,000 refugees, around 225 members of 40 families have returned home in two phases since the second week of September.