Refugees to seek SC help for repatriation

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Agartala, Nov 12: The Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF), an apex body of Bru (Reang) tribal emigrants, sheltering in North Tripura has threatened to seek Supreme Court's intervention for ensuring the repatriation of about 39,000 refugees.

MBDPF officials here today expressed displeasure over the stand of the Zoramthanga government in Mizoram and stated despite several initiatives and peace talks in the past the uncertainty was continued for their repatriation.

About 33,000 Reang refugees have been sheltered in Tripura camps since October 1997 following ethnic clashes with the majority Mizos in Western Mizoram but Mizoram were reluctant to take them.

"We had held several demonstrations and hunger strike early this year to put pressure on Mizoram government to take back the refugees and solve this decade old problem. But with no solution in sight, we have decided to approach the apex court for justice," said Mr Elvis Chorokhy, the MBDPF president.

He said the hunger strike was withdrawn following assurance of union home ministry to fulfil their 16-point charter of demands, including repatriation of refugees to their home state but unfortunately nothing was done to settle the problems.

After 16 round peace talks, Mizoram government had signed an agreement in April 2005 with Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) militants to solve the ethnic crisis, leading to the surrender before the state government of about 1,040 militants belonging to the BNLF and Bru Liberation front of Mizoram (BLFM).

Demanding immediate talks between the Centre, Mizoram and Tripura governments and MBDPF, the memorandum said, 'these series of events - signing of agreement to surrender of militants - had proved to be useless for the durable solution of the problems of both refugees and Reang tribals in Mizoram.


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