All kinds of subsistence allowances, including ration supplies and cash dole to the Bru refugees in relief camps in neighbouring Tripura were discontinued, Mizoram Home department officials said on Monday.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed to stop all kinds of allowances, including cash dole and ration supplies from October 1, to the Mizoram Bru refugees, sheltered in six evacuee camps in North Tripura district, the officials said.
In a letter to A Sawibunga, president of Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) on Saturday, Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Kanchanpur, Avedananda Baidya said that food and cash assistance being provided to the inmates of the relief camps would be discontinued from October 1.
Baidya said that the information was communicated by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs on September 25.
MHA Special Secretary (Internal Security) Rina Mitra, Joint Secretary Satyendra Garg and others had said in August that all refugee camps in Tripura would be shut down if the Brus failed to return to Mizoram within September.
On July 3, an agreement was inked in Delhi in which it was decided to complete the Bru repatriation by September 30. It was also announced that assistance to the Bru families in the relief camps would be discontinued from October one.
Meanwhile, Mizoram Home department officials said that the Ministry of Home Affairs had intimated that there were around 11 Bru families who expressed willingness to return to Mizoram and to make arrangements for them.
“We will not be able to make arrangements for all the Bru families who would want to return to Mizoram at random,” an official said.
All the officials have been withdrawn from the relief camps after majority of them (Brus) were not willing to return, he said.
So far, 40 families have returned to Mizoram from six relief camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions in North Tripura district.
However, over 32,000 refugees are still sheltered in relief camps in the state.
The repatriation process had started on August 25 and concluded on September 25 this year.
Thousands of Brus had been lodged in the Tripura relief camps since late 1997 in the wake of a communal tension triggered by the brutal killing of Lalzawmliana, a forest guard, inside the Dampa Tiger Reserve on October 21, 1997, by Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) militants.