'Many assurances for repatriation poured in and none has come in being'
India does not have any act or rule for displaced people or refugees, a rehabilitation policy was drawn in 2007; since it is not any act, and there is no guarantee virtually.
South Asia concentrates the fourth largest population of such people and India share a lion share, again Northeast India gets a major of it.
Mizoram Displaced Bru People's Forum (MDBPF) president Elvis Chorkhy in a conversation with neindia.com said, "Repatriation for us is an elusive thing for last one decade , even there was no clear-cut survey to work-out the figure of the refugees residing in six camps here in Tripura".
Q: It has come to know that Mizoram Government tried to repatriate some refugees from Naisinghpara camp but you people showed less interest. What is your version?
Elvis : Yeah . There was something alike that sounds good apparently to hear. But the thing is, there was no assurance of security, no written paper about repatriation package, there is no concrete idea, how the people would be rehabilitated, in what condition. And among thousand s of displaced people, only the members of one village was selected and we were given no idea about the rest. We were only told about that the financial package would be provided but the figure was not satisfactory even.
Q : what's so ever, do not you think that was a scope to pave your way to Mizoram ?
Elvis : I do not agree with this, because we have not forgotten, the condition of the returnees of two armed group, who were taken back. But the promised package of development is yet to be instrumental in Western belt of Mizoram that the Reang inhabited places. There perhaps the life is worse than even the refugee camps.
Q : There is fresh influx of Reang refugees to Tripura from Mizoram onwards November 12 and it was blamed, there was an effort from your part to spark unrest to avoid repatriation as the proposed taking-back was scheduled on November 18 ...
Elvis : The huts of Reang people were brunt in Mizoram, same the situation of 1997, when we took shelter here and to escape from the violence, people fled to Tripura again onwards November 12.
The violence was sparked following a murder of a Mizo youth.
We condemned the murder but even there was no hand from our side. Slapping the charge of giving impetus to the murders of that youth one of MDBPF leaders was also arrested, when we were returning from Mizoram after a meeting. It is just to keep us under pressure and harass us. We were leaving in refugee camps sub-standard life; again such arrest is exactly adding injury to death.
Q: what are the areas of problem you want to highlight?
Elvis : What a man needs to lead a respectful life, we are lacking all those. Education, Health, Livelihood: nothing is in shape. The REGA scheme is yet to reach to us. The guarantee promised by the act seems nothing for us.
Q: How do you go back to Mizoram?
Elvis: The answer we are trying to find in last twelve years, we do not have any answer. The process still is cloudy. The Chief Minister of Mizoram recently visited Kanchanpur subdivision, we met him, however, he did not come to our came. He gave us assurance to take it seriously and we are tired of assurances by so many years. Many assurances for repatriation poured in and none came in being.
We met ministers, bureaucrats, social activists….....we met Ex- Prime Minister, A B Bajpayee, Ex-home ministers, L K Adbani, Shivraj Patil ….....the list is long …...election comes, sympathy comes, we remain unmoved.
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