Reang refugees
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Reang refugees resort to hunger strike over repatriation

A Correspondent

AGARTALA, July 14 : In a dramatic turn of event, a group of Bru (Reang) refugees immediately after signing of agreement for their repatriation to Mizoram has started hunger strike at Naisinghpara, one of the six camps for the refugees, apparently to derail the repatriation process.

Bru refugees are scheduled to return to their homeland Mizoram by September 30 as mentioned in the tripartite agreement signed on July 3 at Delhi in presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Government of Tripura and Mizoram and representatives of the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples’ Forum, representing 32000 refugees signed the agreement.

All temporary relief camps in Kanchanpur and Panisagar sub-divisions are supposed to be shut down by first week of October and the Centre had offered a good and realistic rehabilitation package to Bru families after repartition to Mizoram.

Interestingly, things have changed after arrival of the refugee leaders from Delhi in first week of this month.
A few refugees have started fasting at Naisingpara refugee camp since yesterday and the agitation is still continuing till the last report came in. They want advance payment before rehabilitation process sets in motion. However, refugee leaders were seen keeping distance from the agitation as they had signed in the tripartite meeting. There were allegations it was the refugee leaders who are instigating innocent refugees to spoil the efforts of the Centre.

As tension was mounting in refugee camps, additional forces were deployed in different locations to avoid any untoward incident. Now it is to be seen if repatriation will start as per schedule or not.
In the tripartite agreement, a realistic rehabilitation package is promised for each Bru family after repatriation to Mizoram. Around Rs. 4 lakh is ensured for each refugee apart from Rs. 5000 monthly stipend and free ration for each Reang family after repatriation.