Spot verification of Brus in Mizoram-Tripura border areas

The Mizoram government and Mizoram Bru Displaced People`s Forum (MBDPF) would conduct a joint spot verification in Mizoram-Tripura border areas next week.

Aizawl: The Mizoram government and Mizoram
Bru Displaced People`s Forum (MBDPF) would conduct a joint
spot verification in Mizoram-Tripura border areas next week
and visit several villages in view of the proposed
repatriation of Bru refugees from Tripura, official sources
said today.

Elvis Chorkhy, President of the MBDPF also secretary of
the Bru Coordination Committee (BCC), has been in Aizawl for
two weeks along with the BCC chairman Surjomoni Reang, former
president of the erstwhile underground Bru National Liberation
Front (BNLF) holding discussions on the proposed repatriation
of Bru refugees now lodged in six relief camps in North
Tripura district.

Chorkhy said they have to determine if the villages
identified for resettlement would be large enough to
accommodate those who wanted to return and whether the lands
belonging to the villages would be sufficient for jhum
cultivation and other agriculture purposes.

Reacting to the press statement issued yesterday by some
Bru refugees who called themselves Bru Displaced Welfare
Organisation (BDWO), which said that the refugees would
boycott the repatriation plans as the Mizoram government
refused to accept their demands, Chorkhy said that at least 90
per cent of the refugees wanted to return as soon as possible.

"We do not think that some people who formed BDWO
would be able to influence our people," he said.

The state home secretary Lalmalsawma and other senior
officials were in New Delhi to hold talks with the officials
of the Ministry of Home Affairs tomorrow on the Bru
repatriation issue, he said, adding that the spot verification
would be undertaken after the officials return to Aizawl.

Hundreds of Brus left Mizoram in 1997 and 2009 when
Bru militants murdered two Mizos, a forest guard in October
21, 1997 and a 17-year-old boy near Bungthuam village on
November 13, 2009.

A recent head count conducted by the MBDPF found that
there were 31,703 Brus in the relief camps belonging to 5,448
families who are bona fide residents of Mizoram.

The head count and the joint verification by the
state government and the MBDPF were significant as Union Home
Minister P. Chidambaram, during his visit to Aizawl on May 25
had urged the Bru leaders to ensure that all the Bru refugees
returned to Mizoram from Tripura latest by the end of October.

PTI

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