North Tripura (Tripura), May 23 (ANI): The Bru (Reang) refugees of Mizoram state, who have been living in neighbouring Tripura after ethnic clashes forced them to flee, have begun returning to their homes.
Families that had fled after clashes to refugee camps in North Tripura district are now returning in batches to their homes in Mizoram.
"About 154 families from Naisingpara and Ashapara will start moving to Mizoram. This is the first day (May 22) of repatriation of the new displaced persons who have been displaced after November 2009. They had fled after the incident that took place at Bungthuan village on 13th November. Today all the vehicles have come," said Elvis Chorkhy, President of the Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF).
Mizoram government officials along with their Tripura counterparts are supervising the repatriation from Tripura relief camps to Mizoram's Mamit district.
"On 13th November, from Bungthuan village all the villagers took shelter here after a communal violence flared up in Mizoram. Now the Mizoram government assured us the security for repatriation and we were to go on 21st May but could not. Now we are going but more than 31,000 who shall be left behind will be repatriated gradually, and the Mizoram government has assured this," said Bonkhuma, a refugee.
On the Union Home Ministry's advice, Mizoram shall repatriate another 105 families, numbering over 1,000 tribal refugees, in five batches by May 26.
Since 1997, around 32,000 Bru tribal refugees have taken shelter in six camps in North Tripura, after ethnic clashes with Mizos over the killing of a Mizo forest official.
The refugees' repatriation from Tripura to Mizoram was stopped in last November when a mob in Mizoram burnt down around 700 tribal houses after an 18-year-old Mizo youth was shot dead by unidentified miscreants. (ANI)