AIZAWL, Sept 4 - Major organisations based in Mizoram today urged the Bru refugees staying at six relief camps in Tripura, to return to Mizoram by September 30 as per the agreement among the Centre, the Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and the Mizoram Bru Displaced People�s Forum (MBDPF), the apex body of displaced Bru families in Tripura, signed on July 3.
The NGO Coordination Committee, a conglomerate of major civil society organisations and student bodies in Mizoram, on Tuesday convened a meeting and passed a resolution, appealing to the Bru families to return to Mizoram, Vanlalruata, president of the Young Mizo Association (YMA), said. The Coordination Committee has also appealed to all authorities concerned to help in the smooth conduct of the repatriation process.
The NGO Coordination Committee slammed the Mamit district Deputy Commissioner, Bhupesh Chaudhary, for allegedly revising the electoral rolls of Bru voters at the relief camps despite stiff opposition from civil society organisations of Mizoram. No Bru-related electoral process should be conducted outside Mizoram, the committee had demanded earlier.
The NGO Coordination Committee further appealed to the Election Commission that all Bru voters should be asked to exercise their franchise in Mizoram in the forthcoming State Assembly elections.
The latest Bru repatriation, which was scheduled to take place between August 25 and September 25, has been a non-starter as barring three families, no Bru refugees came forward for repatriation when Mizoram Government officials went to the relief camps in Tripura to conduct the process.
According to officials, only three out of the 5,407 Bru families stationed in Tripura have returned to Mizoram so far.
Terming the repatriation a �futile exercise�, the Mizoram Government have withdrawn the officials sent to Tripura to oversee the exercise, State Home Department officials said.
The Bru refugees have refused to return as they are not happy with the repatriation package and are demanding an Area Development Council (ADC) and cluster village consisting of at least 500 families.
According to the agreement of July 3, every repatriated Bru family will receive financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh, which will be deposited in their savings account. Each repatriated family will also be provided housing assistance to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh. Apart from this, the Bru families will also be given a monthly stipend of Rs 5,000 through Direct Benefit Transfer for two years and free rations for the same period.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier said the relief camps in Tripura would be closed down by the first week of October, and that assistance allotted to the inmates would be discontinued forthwith.