The apex body of the Bru refugees lodged in camps in Tripura urged the central government Tuesday to resume their subsistence allowances which were stopped from the beginning of this month.
Signed by MBDPF president A Sawibunga, general secretary Bruno Msha and and its other leaders, the memorandum expressed fear that acute hunger among the inmates of the six camps may create law and order problem.
Only 40 of the 5,407 Bru refugee families returned to Mizoram during the stipulated one month of repatriation ending on September 25. The authorities discontinued all kinds of subsistence allowances, including ration supplies and cash dole, from October 1.
The Centre had earlier warned that assistance doled out to them would be stopped from the first day of October.
Of the over 5,000 heads of the families, "only 44 have opened bank accounts and only 44 per cent of the inmates got Aadhaar card", the memorandum said.
Assembly election would be held in Mizoram on November 28 and, as all the officials would be engaged in the poll process, repatriation would be hampered, the memorandum said.
The MBDPF leaders said they have been trying to convince all the families in the relief camps to return to Mizoram by accepting the four-corner agreement despite resistance from some corners.
The agreement stipulated that Rs four lakh for each repatriated Bru family would be deposited in the bank account of the head of the family which would mature after three years and payment of Rs 1.5 lakh as housing assistance.
Each repatriated Bru family would be given Rs 5,000 through Direct Benefit Transfer every month and a free ration for two years.
Thousands of Brus had been lodged in the Tripura relief camps since late 1997 in the wake of communal tension triggered by the brutal killing of Lalzawmliana, a forest guard, in the Dampa Tiger Reserve on October 21, 1997 by Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) militants.
The first attempt to repatriate them in November 2009 not only failed but triggered another exodus after Bru militants gunned down a youth at Bungthuam village, three days before the commencement of the repatriation process.
Though some Bru families had returned to Mizoram during a number of repatriation processes and on their own will, many of them continued to refuse to leave Tripura despite many attempts by the government.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)