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Mizoram Chief Minister Skips

A Correspondent, Jampui Hills (Tripura)

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla currently on a visit in Mizo infested Jampui Hills in Kanchanpur of North Tripura district skipped camps where thousands of Reang or Brus are stranded for over a decade. Chief Minister however met leaders of Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF) Thursday afternoon in the picturesque hills.

MBDPF earlier made a fervent appeal to Lal Thanhawla to visit the camps to see plight of the refugees, but received no response. Mizoram chief minister arrived Wednesday on a three day visit on an invitation to attend a convention and social programme organised by a local group called Mizo Upa Pawl (MUP) at Thangslang village.

He also interacted with senior Mizo citizens of the area. “Officials of Mizoram and Tripura have not informed us about his visit to the camps. We have no information”, MBDPF President Elvis Chorky said over phone.

About 33,000 Reangs are staying the camps in the foothills of Jampui after they fled Mizoram in 1997 during ethnic clashes and a fresh batch of 4,000 tribe people migrated to Kanchanpur over past one month amidst renewed tension between them and Mizos. Only half of the new entrants are getting ration from the district administration pushing the rest to a starvation like situation.

Tripura government has announced it would provide shelter to all evacuees on humanitarian ground. The latest round of ethnic tension surfaced despite two rounds of tripartite meetings between MBDPF, Mizoram government and the Union Home Ministry at Aizawl. The meetings failed to evolve a deadline for repatriation but were successful to identify points of discord with a resolve to end the stalemate through peaceful dialogues.

Elvis Chorky said they have submitted a memorandum to the chief minister that highlight recent ethnic strife in Mizoram, early repatriation of the refugees and their rehabilitation, security measures back home and recognition of their customary rights.

“We have demanded to arrange our return in next two months to facilitate us cultivate our farmland, otherwise it would late for another year”, he said and regretted Mizoram government even not considering their socio-economic demands though they gave up political aspiration like a autonomous council for the tribe people.