Food, relief supplies resume for Mizo tribal refugees

Agartala, October 22 (IANS): The Tripura government on Monday resumed the supply of food and relief material to Mizo refugees, sheltered in camps in the northern parts of the state for the past 21 years.


Following a four-partite agreement in Delhi on July 3, the supply of food grains and relief material was stopped from October 1, ostensibly to compel the Reang tribal migrants to return to Mizoram from where they had fled in October 1997.


“The Central government has agreed to resume the supply of rations and relief material to the refugees. It would continue until January 15, 2019. Within this period the refugees have to return to their homes in Mizoram,” Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Abeda Nanda Baidya told IANS on the phone.


“After the Union Home Ministry stopped the supply of relief to the refugees, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb talked to the Home Ministry to resume the supply of rations and other services immediately,” Nath said asking the refugees to return to their homeland.


“The government wants to repatriate the refugees to their home land through democratic process. Do not create any ethnic or any other administrative problems. Try to solve your problems through mutual discussions with the officials and elected leaders.


“Your life, culture, socio-economic condition, education of children would be affected to a large extent if you stay for long in refugee camps.”


The Reang tribals, locally called “Bru”, on October 9 urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to restart the supply of relief and other basic services.


Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) General Secretary Bruno Msha said the refugees were keen to return to their villages but nine most basic and vital issues must be resolved before the repatriations.