Repatriation of the displaced Brus to Mizoram to start on
21 May 2010 on Home Ministry’s assurance
New Delhi: “The first phase of the repatriation of the Brus displaced from Mizoram in November 2009 will start from Tripura on 21 May 2010 and will complete on 26 May 2010 provided the Mizoram government organizes the transport facilities. In the first phase, a total of 210 Bru families have been identified for repatriation. The repatriation earlier scheduled on 11 May 2010 could not start as the State government of Mizoram failed to provide transportation facilities. The transportation facilities are now being organized by the State Government of Mizoram with the assistance from the State government of Tripura” – stated Asian Centre for Human Rights in a press release issued to the media today.
The repatriation is taking place after written assurances were given by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India about rehabilitation and security of the returnee Brus through the Asian Centre for Human Rights. The Bru Coordination Committee submitted its demands for rehabilitation of the newly arrived Brus through the ACHR.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a written communication to the Asian Centre for Human Rights informed that it had sanctioned grants-in-aid of Rs. 2.43 crore to the State government of Mizoram for meeting expenditure on repatriation and rehabilitation of Bru families who had fled to Tripura in November, 2009. This assistance would be utilized by State Government of Mizoram for providing housing assistance @ Rs. 38,500 per Bru family whose huts were burnt, free ration to such families for a period of 9 months, cost of transportation from Tripura to the Bru villages in Mizoram. Apart from these, assistance include cost of preparation of land for Jhum cultivation to Bru families who did not flee to Tripura, household kits and implements and for meeting cost of construction of barracks, sentry posts etc. for State Armed Police/IR Bn. who would be deployed in relevant areas for facilitating peaceful repatriation and rehabilitation of Bru migrants.
Following the written assurance of the MHA, the Brus displaced in November 2009 threafter agreed to return. However, the repatriation scheduled on 11 May 2010 could not start as the State government of Mizoram failed to provide transportation facilities. The transportation facilities are now being organized by the State Government of Mizoram with the assistance from the State government of Tripura.
“The first phase of repatriation should build necessary confidence to start the stalled dialogue for resolving the disputes surrounding the Brus who fled in 1997. The Asian Centre for Human Rights encourages both the State government of Mizoram and the Bru Coordination Committee to avail the opportunity arising out of this goodwill repatriation process to find a permanent solution to the Bru crisis.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
Since 1997, more than 35,000 Brus displaced from Mizoram have been living in the six makeshift camps under Kanchanpur sub-division of Tripura. In November 2009, fresh displacement of about 5,000 Brus took place and many of them fled to Tripura. In December 2009, the Asian Centre for Human Rights undertook a Fact Finding Mission at the invitation of the State government of Mizoram.
In February 2010, the Ministry of Home Affairs requested the Asian Centre for Human Rights to use its good offices to convince the Bru IDPs to return to Mizoram.[Ends]