Centre approved INR 350 cr. for 9th phase of Bru repatriation
Aizawl, Sep. 6 (PTI): The Centre has approved an amount of INR 350 crore for the ninth phase of Bru repatriation from six relief camps of neighbouring Tripura, a senior home department official said.
The approval came during a Joint Monitoring Group meeting on Bru repatriation, chaired by Special Secretary (internal security), Ministry of Home Affairs, A P Maheswari, in Delhi on Friday, Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiakzama said.
The state had last month identified 4,447 Bru families for the exercise, scheduled to begin on October 1, he said.
“The approved amount of INR 350 crore would cover transportation and rehabilitation package expenses, which includes INR 5,000 per month for each resettled Bru family in Mizoram and free ration for two years,” Lalbiakzama, who represented the state in the meeting, told PTI over phone.
Among others who attended Friday’s meeting were senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, representatives of home departments of Tripura and Mizoram and organisations representing Brus.
The Bru community, also called Reangs, is among the 21 scheduled tribes in the country.
Thousands of Brus had fled to Tripura in 1997 in the wake of a communal tension triggered by the killing of a forest guard by militants inside Dampa Tiger Reserve.
The Centre and the governments of Mizoram and Tripura have made multiple attempts since 2009 to repatriate the Brus to their home state, but many refused to return, citing inadequate rehabilitation package.
The government has promised to deposit INR 4 lakh in the bank account of every repatriated family. It has also assured a sum of INR 1.5 lakh as housing assistance, free ration and INR 5,000 for other expenses for two years.
The first attempt to repatriate the Brus in November 2009 had fizzled out following the murder of a Mizo youth at Bungthuam village in Mamit district. The murder had also triggered a fresh wave of exodus.