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Uncertainty hangs for 35,000 tribal refugees in Tripura
Uncertainty hangs for 35,000 tribal refugees in Tripura
PHOTO : Tribal refugees protest : TIWN File Pic

AGARTALA, April 29 (TIWN): Despite fresh initiatives by the Tripura government, uncertainty prevails with the repatriation of 35, 000 tribal refugees to Mizoram, who are currently sheltered in Tripura since 17 years.

According to the official source despite writing to the Mizoram govt., no fresh initiative has been taken by the Mizoram govt. in regard of the repatriation of the reang refugees settling here in Tripura under North District.

The source added that the refugees are willing to return back to their home town in Mizoram, but no fresh initiatives has come yet today from the Mizoram govt.

The Mizoram government remains unclear on the refugees' demands, including free supply of food grain for two years and allotment of land to them, said source.

The immigrants live in small thatched homes made of bamboo and hemp in seven transitory relief camps in Kanchanpur in northern Tripura, adjoining Mizoram. It is worthy to be mentioned here that earlier this year the central ministers on their arrival to the state here had met the refugee leaders at Kanchanpur, but the meeting remained inconclusive as Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla did not attend it.

About 35,000 Reang tribals, who call themselves "Bru", have lived in seven camps in Tripura since October 1997 after fleeing western Mizoram after the killing of a Mizo forest officer triggered ethnic troubles.

The central government took the initiative to repatriate the refugees in view of the Supreme Court directions Jan 16.

Following a Tripura High Court order, the union home ministry last year set up a seven-member panel headed by Rajiv Gauba, an additional secretary, to oversee the condition of the refugees in the Tripura camps.

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