GUWAHATI: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressing willingness to settle the Bru refugees in the state.
In his letter sent on Wednesday, Deb wrote that the 5,082 families of the refugees had continued to live in the camps as some of their organisations continued to stand opposed to their repatriation.
The development comes amidst the last and final repatriation of the refugees. The Centre has asked the displaced Brus to return to Mizoram and fixed November 30 as the deadline for the same.
A few days ago, Tripura’s royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, who resigned as state Congress chief recently, insisted that the displaced Brus be provided land by Tripura government so that they could continue to live in the state. He said they were original inhabitants of Tripura.
“If you can accept lakhs and lakhs of people from another country (read Bangladesh), then why can’t you accept the Brus who were natives of Tripura until being displaced by the Dumbur hydro-electric plant,” Debbarma had argued.
The Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) said the refugees would return to Mizoram provided the government acceded to their “simple” demands.
“They want to live in some compact areas of Mizoram with security. They also want that there are some special projects that will take care of their welfare. If these are not accepted, I feel they will not like to go back to Mizoram,” MBDPF general secretary Bruno Msha had told this newspaper last week.
More than 35,000 Brus had fled to Tripura from Mizoram in 1997 in the wake of their clashes with the Mizos. In the past one month or so, nearly 900 of them had returned to Mizoram.