Sixty seven Bru refugees, sheltered in Khakchang camp of Panisagar sub-division in Tripuras North district, returned to Mizoram Wednesday after 20 years, officials said.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Panisagar, Lalnemmemi Darlong said all the 67 Bru refugees who returned Wednesday hailed from Mamit district of Mizoram.
They returned in four buses and proper security was arranged for them. The displaced people were handed over to Mizoram authorities at the inter-state boundary in Mamit district," Darlong told PTI.
When asked if the displaced people would get the repatriation benefits as the deadline expired yesterday, she said, "Our duty was to send them with proper security and arrange for their transport. We have done our duties," she said.
Over 30,000 Bru refugees are still housed in six Tripura relief camps.
Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Coordination Committee (MBDPCC) president L Laldinliana said he had no idea if the repatriation was extended or if the families who returned after the deadline was over would get the benefits of the repatriation package.
Of the 5,407 Bru refugee families, only 31 had returned from their camps in Tripura to Mizoram during the stipulated one month of repatriation, which ended Tuesday.
Those who were still in the six relief camps face an uncertain future as the Centre had earlier warned that assistance doled out to them would be stopped from October 1.
The Bru refugees receive free ration and subsistence allowance of Rs 5 per day per person from the Centre.
The Centre was earlier optimistic about Bru families returning to Mizoram during the repatriation process after an agreement was inked on July 3 this year between Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, chief ministers of Mizoram and Tripura and MBDPF chief A Sawibunga in Delhi.
The agreement stipulated that Rs 4 lakh for each repatriated Bru family be deposited to the bank account of the head of the family which would mature after three years and payment of Rs 1.5 lakh would be made for housing assistance.
Each repatriated Bru family would be given Rs 5,000 through Direct Benefit Transfer every month and free ration for two years.
Thousands of Brus had been lodged in 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.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)