Forum denies charges of objection to Bru families repatriating

Blockade till ration supply resumes

GUWAHATI: The Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) has denied charges of objecting to repatriation of Bru families lodged in the seven relief camps in northern Tripura, even as it geared up for an indefinite road blockade from October 31 in protest against the Centre’s discontinuation of ration supply to the camps.
Sources in the Mizoram home department have made an allegation in a section of the media that many Bru families returned to Mizoram from the camps on their own even after the “Bru leaders served a diktat” against their return. “As far as we are concerned, we have never objected to any Bru family willing to return to Mizoram. Our primary concern is the spectre of starvation looming on the relief camps since the Centre decided to discontinue ration and cash doles. Moreover, lack of ration has also compelled many families to return to Mizoram despite an uncertain future,” MBDPF general secretary, Bruno Msha told The Shillong Times on Wednesday.
The forum had shot off a letter to the district magistrate of North Tripura on Tuesday informing the district administration of its decision to stage a 12-hour road blockade across a 50km stretch between Kanchanpur and Anandabazar from 5am on Thursday.
“The blockade will be held till the Centre withdraws its decision to discontinue ration supply to the camp inmates during the two-month long repatriation process which is scheduled to end on November 30, 2019. If there is no response, we plan to intensify our protest and block the national highway as well,” Msha warned.
The forum also reiterated in the letter that the move to stop ration supply during the repatriation process “is unconstitutional and blatant violation of human rights”. The forum further alleged that the ongoing repatriation, which the government said would be final, is “forceful” as the government has “ignored the security and simple demands of the Bru refugees”.
Referring back to the allegation of Bru leaders’ diktat against repatriation, the MBDPF general secretary refuted the charge saying that there is something amiss in it.
“Such an allegation could be made to malign our image. The state and central intelligence leaders, officials from the Centre and Mizoram government have also visited the camps and seen it for themselves the ground situation,” he said.

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