AGARTALA: In a turn of events, the Central government is going to resume distribution of ration and other relief materials to over 32,000 Reang refugees residing in six north Tripura camps from Monday after a gap of 20 days. Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath is going to Kanchanpur to formally resume the relief distribution operation.
Official sources claimed that humanitarian considerations provoked the centre to resume distribution of relief materials but it is learnt that the upcoming Assembly election of Mizoram scheduled to be held on November 28 has forced the Centre to change its decision.
BJP is vying to emerge as a major political player in the Christian-dominated State of Mizoram and for this purpose is depending more on the religious and linguistic minorities of the State like the Reangs, Chakmas, Lakhers etc.
Among them, the Reangs are the biggest community and determining factor at least in five constituencies in Kolasib, Lunglie and Mamith districts. The camp inmates who are voters of Mizoram alone can determine the fate of three constituencies.
It may be recalled that the Centre had stopped distribution of free ration and other relief materials to the refugees from October 1 as they refused to go back to their ancestral home at Mizoram within September 30, the dateline fixed in a four-corner agreement signed between the Centre, the Governments of Mizoram and Tripura and the Mizoram Displaced Bru (Reang) Peoples’ Forum that is representing the refugees.
Immediately the signing of the accord a new organization emerged in the name of Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples’ Co-ordination Committee and denied to go back. As a result, only 58 families returned to their ancestral home within the dateline while the rest remained in the camps.
The Government stopped the distribution of relief materials after the expiry of the dateline but the refugees remain un-relented and the Centre also took a strong stand but the electoral necessities forced the Centre to succumb to their stubborn attitude.