AGARTALA, Oct 23 - The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which had stopped the supply of rations to six Bru refugee camps in North
Tripura district three weeks ago apparently to put pressure for their repatriation to Mizoram, resumed it on Monday, officials said.
The supply was halted from October 1 as per the orders of the sub-divisional Magistrates of Kanchanpur and Panisagar in the North district, Kanchanpur sub-divisional magistrate Abhedananda Baidya said.
It was resumed on Monday following the MHA orders and will continue till January 15 next year, he said, quoting a communication from MHA Joint Secretary Satyendra Garg to Tripura Chief Secretary L K Gupta.
We were instructed by the MHA to resume ration supplies to the Bru internally displaced people�s camps from Monday, the Kanchanpur SDM said.
At present there are more than 35,000 refugees lodged in six refugee camps.
Tripura Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said at a programme at Naisinghpara refugee camp during the day that Bru refugees as citizens of India enjoy the fundamental right to food, clothes and residence.
�Everyone in Tripura has these rights and Bru displacement victims have also the same rights�, he said.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had taken up the issue with the MHA for resumption of supply to the camp dwellers and to ensure that not a single Bru refugee starves in relief camps in Tripura, he added.
Garg�s letter, which was made available to press, said �...It was conveyed... That assistance being extended to the Bru migrants in the form of food grains, cash doles will be available till 30th Sept, 2018.�
�In view of the prevailing situation, it has been decided that the deadline for repatriation of these Bru migrant families be extended till 15th Jan, 2019. The assistance to them in the form of foodgrains and cash doles may also be continued till 15th January, 2019,� it said.
So far, 40 families have returned to Mizoram from the six relief camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions in North Tripura district. The repatriation process had started on August 25 and concluded on September 25 this year.
MHA Special Secretary (Internal Security) Rina Mitra, Joint Secretary Satyendra Garg and others had said in August that all refugee camps in Tripura would be shut down if the Brus failed to return to Mizoram within September.
The Brus had been lodged in the Tripura relief camps since late 1997 in the wake of a communal tension triggered by the brutal killing of Lalzawmliana, a forest guard, inside the Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram on October 21, 1997, by Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) militants. � PTI