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First batch of Reangs return Mizoram

A Correspondent
Agartala, November 3, 2010: The much waited repatriation of Reang refugees stranded in thousands in makeshift camps in Kanchanpur of north Tripura to Mizoram got underway on Wednesday. Tripura government officials stated that the return likely to continue in phases was hastily arranged at initiation of Mizoram government.  

“53 families were repatriated to Mizoram during the day. More to follow in coming days”, Kanchanpur subdivision magistrate Dilip Chakma said. He said the refugees left in hired vehicles for Mamith district and were escorted by Mizoram police when crossed Tripura border.  

Some 34,000 Reang evacuees are stranded in six makeshift camps in Kanchanpur since the Mamith district of Mizoram to escape ethnic tension with the majority Mizos. All past efforts failed to yield result to end years old impasse.   

The current development is fallout of visit of union home minister Chidambaram who during his recent visit to Aizawl directed the Mizoram authorities to arrange early return of the refugees and resolve the ethnic divide.  

Despite the initiation it is uncertain if the refugees would en masse return to their homeland as a sizeable number is concerned about safety and security and non fulfillment of their demands by the Mizoram government over guarantee to the ethnic identify of northeast's most primitive tribe and treating them as per Mizos in all sphere of life.  

A senior Mizoram government official Benjamin Lal Zama was present in Kanchanpur to supervise first phase of repatriation.