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Bru groups to begin talks tomorrow

Guwahati, Dec. 27: Talks between pro and anti-repatriation factions of the Brus, displaced from Mizoram, will start at Kanchanpur in Tripura on Wednesday.

The outcome of the talks will decide the fate of the stalled repatriation process of the displaced community.

The director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights, Suhas Chakma, will be on a three-day tour to Kanchanpur starting tomorrow for the purpose.

Chakma was earlier appointed the Centre’s interlocutor on the displaced Brus from Mizoram.

“Although we have received information that the interlocutor will arrive here tomorrow, the actual talks will be held on Wednesday,” said a source while adding that if the talks go smoothly then the stalled process of repatriation of the community will start after the New Year.

The Centre had already directed the Mizoram and Tripura governments to provide security cover after requests made by the Repatriation Implementation Committee, a pro-repatriation group.

The Brus fled from Mizoram in 1997 and in November 2009.

After the failure of several rounds of talks as well as agreement with the Bru National Liberation Front and the Bru Liberation Front — the repatriation of the community — however, started on May 21 this year after a gap of 13 years when the Union home ministry intervened.

The repatriation process that started in May was disrupted once again with the arrival of monsoon.

Differences cropped up within the Bru leader- ship with the expulsion of Bru leader and president of the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum Elvis Chorkhy.

The repatriation of Brus resumed on November 3.

However, it was again stalled following the protests of the Forum demanding among others a written agreement for the repatriation and resettlement.

The Tripura government had to deploy security forces to deal with the protests by the Forum.

Chakma is visiting Kanchanpur tomorrow with the aim to start the repatriation of the Brus.

The Union home ministry had sanctioned Rs 80,000 per family and one year free rations for those who were displaced in 1997 while providing housing assistance of Rs 38,500 per Bru family whose huts were burnt in November 2009 apart from free ration for a period of 9 months.

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