Newmai News Network
Aizawl | January 13
Mizoram chief minister who is also the Mizo National Front (MNF) president, Zoramthanga on Monday said that a 'quadripartite' agreement involving the Centre, the governments of Mizoram and Tripura and a Bru organisation would be signed on January 16 in connection with the issue of permanent settlement of Mizoram's Bru people, who are camping at relief camps in Tripura since 1997.
The proposed agreement will permanently end a 2-decade old issue on Bru repatriation, the chief minister said while addressing a function, which marked the opening of MNF office for the current year here on Monday.
Zoramthanga said that he was invited by the Union Home Ministry to come down to Delhi and sign the agreement, which will also permanently end repatriation of over 35,000 Bru refugees lodged at six relief camps in Tripura, to Mizoram.
“The agreement will be signed between officials of the Union Home ministry, the chief ministers of Mizoram and Tripura and leaders of Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Thursday,” he said.
Zoramthanga then said that the Centre’s decision came after the Bru people refused to return to Mizoram and expressed their willingness to permanently settle down in Tripura.
“The Home ministry informed us about the Bru people being determined to permanently live in Tripura. The ministry wants to settle down the Bru issue by allowing the refugees to permanently live in Tripura and provide rehabilitation to them there,” Zoramthanga said before party workers here.
MBDPF general secretary Bruno Msha told this corespondent (Henry Khojol) over phone from Tripura that the association did not receive any information regarding the proposed agreement.
Fleeing communal tension triggered by the murder of a Mizo Forest guard by the Bru militants, thousands of Bru migrated to Tripura in 1997. Since then they have been living at six relief camps in Tripura and the Centre provides rations to them.
The Mizoram government had made at least nine attempts to repatriate them since 2009 but the repatriation went futile as the Brus refused to return to their villages in Mizoram citing security reasons and inadequate rehabilitation.
However, more than 8,000 Bru people have returned to Mizoram either through repatriation or on their own between November 2009 and November 2019, Mizoram Home officials said.
During October to November last year, the Mizoram government had conducted the ninth and final phase of Bru repatriation during which about 1,165 Bru people, belonging to 289 families out over 4,400 identified families, returned to Mizoram from Tripura.