The Mizoram government has identified 4,447 Bru families lodged in the six relief camps in Tripura as bona fide residents of the state and they will be taken back during the ninth round of repatriation scheduled to commence from October, a senior official of the home department said on Tuesday.
The officials had conducted on the spot hearing in the relief camps between August 27 and August 31. A total 338 families had submitted their claims as bona fide residents of Mizoram but the claims of only 128 familiess were accepted, Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiakzama told PTI. Claims of 113 families were rejected as they had no valid documents to prove that they had resided in Mizoram in the past, while 97 families failed to appear for the hearing, he said.
The third phase of identification took place last week, he said adding though the number of families to be repatriated has been determined officials are counting the total number of people who will return to Mizoram. The home secretary said that all the identified families had expressed willingness to return to Mizoram though obstruction from hard-liners and anti-repatriation elements could not be ruled out. The Bru community, also called Reangs, is among the 21 scheduled tribes in the country.
Thousands of Brus continue to refuse to return to the state even after the Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF), the apex body of the Brus in the relief camps signed an agreement with the Centre and the state governments of Mizoram and Tripura on July three last year. Repeated attempts to repatriate them have ended in failures till date as more people have stayed back in the camps.