AGARTALA, June 29 - Taking a serious view of the delay in repatriation of Reang (Bru) refugees taking shelter in Tripura, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has set a September deadline for the return of 32,800 refugees.
At a meeting held in New Delhi on Friday, MHA officials asked the Reang refugee leaders to return to their homeland by the stipulated time. They also asked Mizoram Government officials to finish the repatriation process by September.
The MHA officials made it clear during the meeting over the four-cornered agreement signed earlier among the Home Ministry, representatives of the Mizoram and Tripura governments, and leaders of the Mizoram Bru Displaced People�s Forum (MBDPF).
The MHA officials expressed displeasure over the non-implementation of the agreement and set the fresh deadline. Earlier, the Home Ministry had to backtrack in the wake of the refugees� adamant attitude, due to the Lok Sabha elections. But this time around, the MHA does not have any such compulsion and is determined to implement the agreement on repatriation, sources said. The MHA officials made it clear to the refugee leaders, headed by their president A Saibunga, that they are not ready to entertain any condition or grievances regarding security concerns.
Meanwhile, the Mizoram Govt has already initiated the process of repatriation. A letter has been sent to the District Magistrate of North Tripura informing that a team of Mizoram officials would visit Kanchanpur from July 3 to 20 to undertake the second phase of identification of the refugees. Once the official formalities are completed, the repatriation of the refugees living in six Tripura relief camps since 1997, will begin.