Bru repatriation Blockade continues, starvation death reported
By Our Correspondent, 04/11/2019, Agartala

The massive agitation of the Bru refugees continuing in Kanchanpur for recommencement of their ration and other government facilities entered its fourth consecutive day with the death toll due to starvation, as alleged, raised up to four today. The refugees sheltered in six relief camps denied returning straight away without positive assurances of fulfillment of their demands. Reportedly, four persons including two kids died during last few days due to stark food crisis. Even as death of kids and two other persons were confirmed, there is no official statement.

Speaking to the media persons Bru leader Bruno Masho said that the prime reason behind the blockade was the closure of rationing services. “The reason behind the blockade of road is that government of India stopped rationing services which have been given since last 22 years. The repatriation process was scheduled to be exercised from October 3rd to November 30. During the process the rationing has been stopped, our people compelled to return back to Mizoram without food--empty stomach. We have been approaching the government of India in black and white through memorandums and civil applications.”

The leader also alleged that the government of India stopped this process without any due course of dialogue with the Bru people and nobody was ready to return in empty stomach. “During several meetings we requested them to consider the grievances that we have appraised before them, but instead of hearing our problems and solving them the government initiated the repatriation process. None of our people are ready to accept the resettlement package without food” he added. The liason officers who have been entrusted with the job to carry out the process of repatriation were being stopped to enter the refugee camps. According to the officials the road blockade has led the process of repatriation to a standstill.

One of the liason officers, Zothanmawia Khiangte, while speaking to this correspondent said, “I am one of the liason officers from Mamith district of Mizoram. The refugees staying the camp belong to three particular districts of Mizoram. And, we have arrived here to execute the process of repatriation scheduled to be commenced from 3rd of October—today. But, due to the road blockade we are failing to connect with the refugees and the process has been stopped.”