Aizawl, Oct. 8 (PTI): Six organisations in as many relief camps in North Tripura district on Tuesday criticised the Mizoram government for carrying out the ninth round of Bru repatriation “without accepting the demands” of the inmates of the relief camps.
The ninth round of repatriation started from October 3 and is scheduled to continue till November 30.
A total of 51 Bru families returned to Mizoram since the repatriation began on October 3.
In the ninth round of repatriation which is termed as the “final” one, altogether 4,447 Bru families, lodged in six relief camps in Tripura, are scheduled to return to the neighbouring state from where they had fled since 1997 following ethnic clashes.
A joint press statement, issued by the organisations, slammed the Mizoram government for sending vehicles to Tripura even after three Bru bodies submitted a memorandum to the state home minister requesting him not to send the vehicles as the refugees would be unable to return to Mizoram until their demands were met.
In a memorandum submitted by three Bru organisations to Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana last week, they had expressed fear that the Bru community would lose its identity if the refugees return to Mizoram in the present situation.
Accusing the state government of not paying attention to the grievances of the Bru community in the relief camps, the statement said that the repatriation process was not a peaceful one.
The Bru bodies alleged that officials were conducting door-to-door campaign in the relief camps and intimidating the inmates.
They were also told that they would not be allowed to return to Mizoram if they do not return this time as this attempt was the last and final call for the Brus in the relief camps.
The organisations also alleged that the rehabilitation centres in Mizoram were worst than cowsheds and unfit for human habitation.
They supported the suggestion made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to appoint an interlocutor to solve the 22 -year-long Bru problem, the statement said.
“The Mizoram government should conduct magisterial inquiry to probe the death of 28-year-old woman named Linda Bru, who was allegedly burned to death by her husband, identified as Vanlalvena of Tlangkhang village in Zawlnuam block of Mamit district last year, it said.
“We also demand payment of Rs 20 lakh to the family of the deceased,” the statement quoted the organisations as saying.
The joint statement was signed by representatives of the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), Mizoram Bru Indigenous Democratic Movement (MBIDM), Bru Displaced Women Welfare Committee (BDWWC), Camp Defence Committee (CDC), Bru Tribal Development Society (BTDS) and All Chudri Committee (ACC).
The vexed Bru problem started when the Bru people, spearheaded by an organisation, Bru National Union, demanded a separate autonomous district council by carving out areas of western Mizoram adjoining Bangladesh and Tripura in September, 1997.
The situation was aggravated by the murder of a forest guard in the Dampa Tiger Reserve in western Mizoram by Bru National Liberation Front insurgents on October 21, 1997.
The first attempt to repatriate the Brus from Tripura from November 16, 2009 not only fizzled out due to the murder of a Mizo youth at Bungthuam village on November 13, 2009, but also triggered another wave of exodus.