Bru NGOs urge Centre to form probe panel on repatriation

From Our Special Correspondent

GUWAHATI: Representatives of various NGOs from relief camps housing Bru families have called upon the Centre to form an inquiry committee for an on-the-spot assessment of the ongoing process of repatriation of displaced people from the community to Mizoram.
Members of the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples’ Forum (MBDPF), Mizoram Bru Indigenous Democratic Movement (MBIDM), Bru Tribal Development Society (BTDS), Bru Displaced Women Welfare Committee (BDWWC), Camp Defence Committee (CDC), All Chudri Committee (ACC) and representatives of religious organisations assembled at Naisingpara in north Tripura on Tuesday to discuss the repatriation process.
“The government of Mizoram is taking initiative for repatriation outwardly for misappropriation of the repatriation package. On the other hand, the Brus have been tortured across the state behind the scenes. Therefore, the central government should form an inquiry committee to study the situation on the spot in Mizoram,” a joint statement issued by the Bru organisations read.
The meeting chaired by MBDPF president, A. Sawibunga resolved to strongly condemn the government of Mizoram for “sending vehicles unnecessarily for repatriation even after the Mizoram home minister was intimated by MBDPF, MBIDM and BTDS on September 30, 2019 that the Bru families would not return until the demands of the organisations were met.”
The organisations alleged that the Mizoram government of was not following its action plan enshrined in the road map for repatriation and that the grievances of the Brus have been completely ignored.
“The government of Mizoram has intimidated the inmates that this attempt was the last and final call for the Brus and none of the inmates would be accepted and taken back afterwards,” NGOs said in the statement.
The NGOs expressed serious concerns over the construction of the rehabilitation centre in Mizoram alleging it to be “worse than cattle shed” and unfit for human habitation.
“The Centre, Mizoram and Tripura governments should pay due attention to the grievances of thousands of women who organised a mass procession and sit-in demonstrations in front of the Gachirampara, Asapara, Kaskaupara, Khakchangpara and Hamsapara relief camps on Monday to protest against the ongoing process of repatriation and sending of vehicles from Mizoram to Tripura for repatriation,” the statement read.
The Bru organisations further said that the NGO Coordination Committee in Mizoram must keep its commitment to take all the displaced Bru families back to Mizoram once the demands were settled and all were willing to return to Mizoram.
“We warmly appreciate the Union home minister, Amit Shah for asking the NGO Coordination Committee of Mizoram during his recent visit to Aizawl to resolve the 22-year-old vexed issue of Brus through an interlocutor. The Centre and the Mizoram government should also conduct magisterial enquiry to probe the death of a woman who was allegedly burnt alive by her Mizo husband and pay at least Rs 20 lakh compensation to the deceased’s family,” the statement said.

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