Central team visits Tripura to assess the condition of Bru refugees
A seven-member joint central team recently visited the Bru refugee camps in North Tripura's Kanchanpur to take stock of their living conditions.
The central team, headed by the additional secretary of Union Home Ministry Rajiv Gauba and Joint Secretary (Northeast) Shambhu Singh, was constituted following a directive from the Tripura High Court, to oversee the condition of the refugees in the Tripura camps.
The team comprising officials of the human resource development ministry, social justice and empowerment ministry, Tripura government and representatives of three NGOs from New Delhi, West Bengal and Assam, will submit the report to the Union Home Ministry and the Tripura High Court by September 12.
Rajiv Gauba, Additional Secretary, Union Home Ministry, said, "We would like to try and understand your exact problem in respect of water, electricity, medical and other aspects. We would like to know about the problems from the inmates of the camps."
Bruno Mesha, general secretary, Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum said, "We have a high hope from them to get some solution of our long standing issue."
Earlier, Tripura governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya had visited the refugee camps at Kanchanpur to see the condition of the displaced people.
The leaders of the Bru Displaced Peoples Forum submitted a memorandum to the governor on their demands and repatriation package.
The governor assured that the Centre is serious in resolving the situation.
Governor of Tripura, Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya said, "We will try our level best under the new government. You will have some hope that you all are Indians. You will be treated equally just like others. You are second to none we are all equal so be confident in your future. Violence is not the answer but unity, peace and democratic matter is the only answer."
Since October 1997, around 36,000 Bru tribal refugees have been taking shelter in six camps in North Tripura.
While some families have been repatriated to Mizoram, a majority is not willing to return to their home state unless their demands for rehabilitation and security are met.
(Posted on 30-08-2014)