Mizoram bodies object to Kashmiri Pundit status demand by Brus
AIZAWL, FEBRUARY 17
[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ivil societies in Mizoram on Tuesday objected to the demand for Kashmiri Pundit like status by Bru tribal people staying in refugee camps in Tripura.
The Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) or the Mizo Students Federation said Brus lodged in Tripura camps were not refugees and could never be compared to the Kashmiri Pundits.“We have documentary evidence that they left Mizoram and migrated en masse to Tripura to fulfil the political aspirations of the community and that those who refused to leave Mizoram in the later part of 1997 were given stern warning by Bru leaders,” MZP president Lalhmachhuana said.
Bru evacuees living in Tripura on February 14 handed over a 10-point charter of demands to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and one of the demands was Kashmiri Pundit-like status to them.
There are over 31,000 Brus in six evacuee camps in Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura district. They had fled their ancestral homes in Mizoram and have been staying here since October 1997.
Lalhmachhuana welcomed return of bona fide residents of Mizoram but objected to Singh’s recent statement that all inmates of the relief camps would be repatriated soon.
The Young Mizo Association (YMA), the largest organisation of the Mizos, also took serious view of the 10-point demands of the Brus.
Lalbiakzuala, president of the central committee of the YMA, told PTI that a panel has been set up to study the demands of the Brus.
The YMA would make its final decision after receiving the panel’s report, Lalbiakzuala said, adding that the YMA never had any objection to the return of Brus from Tripura.
However, only those whose names were enrolled in the 1995 Mizoram voters’ lists and their descendants would be allowed, he said.