New Delhi/Agartala, July 4 (IANS) Over 32,850 Mizoram tribals staying in refugee camps in Tripura for the past 22 years would be repatriated to their home state (Mizoram) by September, an official release said here on Tuesday night.
The decision to repatriate the Reang tribal refugees was taken at a meeting in New Delhi where Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, his Mizoram counterpart Lal Thanhawla and top officials of Home Ministry (MHA) and the two northeastern states were present.
“After almost 22 years, the tribal refugees would be repatriated to Mizoram before September 30 and all six temporary camps in northern Tripura would be closed in the first week of October,” the official release issued by the Tripura government said here on Tuesday.
It said that a four-partite agreement was signed on Tuesday between the Centre, Mizoram and Tripura Governments and the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF).the apex body of the refugees.
“The draft agreement was earlier circulated by the Union Home Ministry and a consensus was reached among all on the draft accord,” the release added.
About 32,857 Reang tribals comprising 5,413 families – locally known as ‘Bru’ — have been living in the six makeshift camps in north Tripura’s Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions, adjoining Mizoram, since October 1997 after they fled their homes in western Mizoram following ethnic trouble in that state.
Tuesday’s meeting also finalised a 6-point package for the benefit of the refugees.
The package include, each refugees family would get financial aid of Rs four lakh, each family would get an allowance of Rs 5,000 per month, Rs 1.50 lakh would be given to each family for construction of houses, each refugee person would be given free ration for two years.
The official release said that a monitoring committee headed by Special Secretary (internal security) of the MHA has been constituted with officials from Tripura and Mizoram and representatives of MBDPF.
It said : “Home Minister Rajnath Singh lauded the efforts of the Chief Ministers of Tripura and Mizoram and officials of the MHA and the two states who made the momentous agreement possible.”
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and top officials of the MHA have visited the refugee camps in north Tripura and Mizoram many times and urged both the Mizoram government and the refugees to end the stalemate over the repatriation.
The Supreme Court had last year directed the MHA and the Mizoram and Tripura governments to jointly work for the return of these tribal refugees to their home state.