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Over 400 Bru families still to be repatriated

There were still more than 400 Bru families in the relief camps in Tripura who fled Mizoram last year though over 240 families returned during May 21 to 26.

Updated: Jun 01, 2010, 17:39 PM IST

Aizawl: There were still more than 400
Bru families in the relief camps in Tripura who fled Mizoram
last year though over 240 families returned during May 21 to
26.

Giving the figures, Elvis Chorkhy, president of the
Mizoram Bru Displaced People?s Forum (MBDPF) told agency over
phone today from one of the relief camps in Tripura that a
head count of refugees has been undertaken.
"We expect to complete the head count by Friday," he
said, adding that the list would be submitted to the Mizoram
government.

The repatriation began from May 21 after the Tripura
government made transport arrangements with around 240
families leaving the state for home till May 26.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, when he visited
Aizawl on May 25 urged Bru leaders to ensure that all refugees
returned to Mizoram latest by October so that they could
prepare the land for next year`s jhumming.

The refugees left Mizoram, first in the later part of
1997 in the wake of the murder of Lalzawmliana, a forest guard
inside the Dampa Tiger Reserve by the BNLF militants in
October that year.
Efforts to repatriate the refugees began from November
16 last year, but it was derailed when Bru militants gunned
down a 17-year-old Mizo youth, Zarzoliana, a resident of
Bungthuam village on the Mizoram-Tripura border three days
before the scheduled repatriation.

This triggered communal tension afresh with more Bru
families leaving for Tripura from Mizoram.

The Mizoram government has prepared a road map for the
repatriation and the Centre has approved it.

PTI