Mizoram to take back 2,000 refugees from Tripura
Mizoram has decided to take back 2,000 tribal refugees who had sought shelter in Tripura last year. But thousands are reluctant to go back without security and money to start life anew.
Agartala/Aizawl: Mizoram has decided to take back 2,000 tribal refugees who had sought shelter in Tripura last year. But thousands are reluctant to go back without security and money to start life anew.
Around 32,000 Reang tribal refugees have sought shelter in six camps in north Tripura, adjacent to Mizoram, since 1997 when they fled Mizoram west after ethnic clashes with Mizos over the killing of a forest official.
The refugees` repatriation from Tripura to Mizoram was stopped in November last year when mobs in western Mizoram burnt down around 700 tribal houses after an 18-year-old Mizo youth was shot dead by unidentified miscreants.
Following the arson and violence, about 5,500 displaced Reang tribals took shelter in adjacent Tripura.
Now a Mizoram home department official has sent a letter expressing the government`s willingness to take back around 2,000 newly displaced tribal refugees, north Tripura`s Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Dilip Chakma told IANS.
Chakma said: "I have met the refugee leaders and informed them about the Mizoram government`s decision."
The tribal refugees are unwilling to return to their homes in Mizoram until their demands for adequarte security and sufficient financial assistance for rehabilitation are accepted by the Mizoram government.
A series of inconclusive meetings in New Delhi and Aizawl were held to resolve the repatriation issue that has been lingered on for 13 long years following differences over the rehabilitation package.
"We have taken steps to repatriate the refugees from Tuesday. The exercise is expected to be completed by May 15," Mizoram Home Secretary Lalmalsawma told reporters in Aizawl.
The official said Mizoram would give Rs.40,000 per refugee family for travelling and construction of homes in their villages.
The union home ministry, through the Tripura government, has so far spent around Rs.174 crore (Rs.1.74 billion) on their upkeep.