Displaced Bru families returning to their homes in Mizoram

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New Delhi /Aizwal, May 22 (ANI): All 154 Bru families who were displaced from Mizoram in November 2009 returned to their homes on Friday in 78 jeeps with one police escort for every 10 jeeps.

The Mizoram Government and the Tripura Government provided the transport and security facilities.

According to the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), a total of 210 Bru families will return by 26 May 2010.

"In the midst of communal tensions in Manipur and Meghalaya, the return of the Brus for the first time since they fled to Tripura in 1997 indeed provides a unique opportunity to Mizoram to identify itself as the most peaceful state in North East India," the ACHR said in a statement.

ACHR Director Suhas Chakma said the Mizoram must seize the opportunity to resolve the Bru crisis once and for all.

On 15 February, the Bru Coordination Committee submitted its demands to the Union Home Ministry for the return of the Brus displaced in November 2009.

The Home Ministry, after holding discussion with the Mizoram Government had informed the ACHR that it had sanctioned grants-in-aid of Rs. 2.43 crore to the Mizoram for meeting expenditure on repatriation and rehabilitation of Bru families.

This assistance would be utilized by State Government of Mizoram for providing housing assistance at 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, the Ministry stated.

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 and India Reserve (IR) battalions who would be deployed in relevant areas for facilitating peaceful repatriation and rehabilitation of Bru migrants.(ANI)

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