Tripura to hand list of Bru refugees to MBDPF

Last Updated: Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 18:22

Aizawl: The final compilation of the
population survey of Bru refugees in six relief camps in
Tripura would be handed over by the Mizoram Bru Displaced
People`s Forum (MBDPF) to the state Officer on Special Duty
now at the relief camps, Mizoram Home Secretary Lalmalsawma
said today.

The compilation of the Bru refugee head count was
completed yesterday according to which there were 27,261 Bru
refugees in the camps.

Lalmalsawma refused to comment on whether the findings
of the Bru leaders on the number of the refugees tallied with
government records.

"We have to undertake identification of those who
were bonafide residents of Mizoram by checking the ration
cards and enrolment in the state voters` lists," Lalmalsawma
said.

The survey was part of the preparatory exercise for
repatriation of the Bru refugees, he said.

While saying that the state government was yet to fix
the time for the repatriation process, he said that the
monsoon in the state should be over before it began.

MBDPF President Elvis Chorkhy said that the refugees
numbered 26,102 including 5,090 minors belonging to 5,180
families.

These refugees had fled Mizoram following communal
tension triggered by the killing of Lalzawmliana, a forest
guard inside Dampa Tiger Reserve in October 1997 by militants
belonging to the erstwhile Bru National Liberation Front
(BNLF).

He said that those who subsequently left Mizoram in
November 2009 numbered 1,159 people including 242 minors
belonging to 241 families.

These people had fled Mizoram after the killing of a
youth Zarzokima by Bru militants on November 13 at Bungthuam
village, three days before the proposed repatriation schedule
for the earlier refugees, were to begin.

Around 240 families who fled Mizoram in November 2009
had returned home on May 21, 24 and 26 this year.

"We did not include refugees coming to Tripura from
Assam," Chorkhy said or a headcount of former Bru militants
who surrendered to the Mizoram authorities as their cases were
taken up separately by the representatives of the surrendered
militants.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who visited Aizawl
on May 25 told the Bru leaders to ensure that all the refugees
returned to Mizoram before the end of October this year and
also informed them that he would visit Mizoram again to
oversee the repatriation process.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 18:22

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