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Official team to visit Bru relief camps in Tripura

Aizawl, February 12 (PTI): A team of officials would visit six Bru relief camps in Tripura to identify Bru families willing to return to Mizoram, a state Home department official said.


The team comprising officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Mizoram government would begin the identification process of the Bru families lodged in the relief camps in North Tripura district from February 22, the official said.


Efforts were in full swing to begin the repatriation of the Bru families from early March, additional secretary in Mizoram government's Home department, Lalbiakzama told PTI.


The MHA had released Rs 7.9 crore recently for the purpose while the state government had submitted an estimate of Rs 123 crore for the exercise, he said.


The state government officials who conducted an identification drive in the Tripura relief camps from November 2 to November 23, 2016 had identified 32,857 people belonging to 5,413 families as bona fide residents of Mizoram, who were eligible for repatriation.


The proposed repatriation scheduled to commence from November 30 last year could not take off due to several reasons including increase in the number of bona fide residents of Mizoram from 21,000 to 32,857, necessitating a revision of the expenditure estimate.


A memorandum submitted to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh by the Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF) last month had demanded a provision of Rs 15 lakh to each repatriated Bru family.


The MBPDF had also demanded that all the repatriated able-bodied youths should be given government jobs.


Thousands of Brus are lodged in the six relief camps since the later part of 1997 following exodus from Mizoram due to communal tension triggered by the murder of a forest official by Bru militants.