MHA takes tough stand on Bru refugee, rules out demands

MHA takes tough stand on Bru refugee, rules out demands

Agency News

Agartala, Nov 5 : The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) ruled out the demand of resuming ration supply for Bru refugees sheltering in six camps in North Tripura instead, made it clear centre would provide additional amount of Rs 25,000 to each of the family if they move to Mizoram in next three days.

According to officials here with the continuous road blockade and agitation of Bru refugees for the last six days, Tripura government took up the matter with MHA seeking further action to end up the deadlock.

The state government has also sent a medical team with necessary logistics following the report of seven deaths in past a week allegedly due to starvation. The additional chief secretary Kumar Alok rushed to the refugee camp at Naisingpara and held a meeting with Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF) leaders requesting them to withdraw the blockade.

After the meeting, information regarding the stand of MHA spread like a wildfire among the refugees and they reacted sharply. Bru leaders in counter warning stated that in the conditions set by the centre for their repatriation in Mizoram would not help them anyway rather put them into permanent socio-cultural and religious sufferings.

“We are the bonafide citizens of India and as per the constitution, Indians got right to settle down anywhere in the country peacefully and comfortably. This is the duty of the government to provide us with all facilities like other Indians whereby we reside. The attempt of forceful eviction from one state to other without addressing the core issue is nothing but pushing us into a death trap,” said Bru agitators.

They further attributed that centre, the government of Tripura and Mizoram as well forgot the situation, which had compelled Bru families left Mizoram in 1997 and took refugee life in camps for the last 22 years. The main demand for cluster-based rehabilitation in Mizoram and set up of ADC for Bru to ensure political autonomy has deliberately been ignored by the government.

“We are ready to die in the camps whatever be the manner but cannot move for life long persecution,” said Hridoyram Reang, a 47 years inmate of Ashapara camp adding that none of the Bru parents wanted to exhibit those black days of 1997 in Mizoram to their children," he said. Meantime, the administration issued a prohibitory order of assembly of five or more persons on the road stretching from Dasda, Kambaltilla, to Hazacherra, Anandabazaar, from yesterday.

As the efforts to repatriate the migrants have failed so far, the government now seems to be have chosen a different way. The official said district-level monitoring committees will now be formed with representatives of MHA, state governments of Tripura and Mizoram and different Bru organisations to oversee implementation of the package announced by the Government of India. While the government of Mizoram identified 32,000-odd migrants as eligible to return, several were left out of the list. The government has clarified that an appellate body consisting of officials of MHA and Government of Tripura would be formed to hear claims of unidentified Bru migrants.

'Ration will not be released for October and November 2019. Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has decided to give additional Rs 25,000 directly in the bank account as cash assistance instead of ration and transportation after reaching to Mizoram only. This special assistance is available only for the inmates who will repatriate till November 7,” officials added. (UNI)