The Mizoram government would not be able to implement the Centre’s proposal of repatriating over 3,500 Bru families from Tripura in the first week of December for want of funds, a senior state home department official said on Monday.
Additional Secretary for Home Lalbiakzama told newsmen that the state government had sent a plan to the ministry of home affairs in September seeking sanction and release of funds for the programme, and was waiting for an approval.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs has to sanction the state government’s proposal and release funds to the tune of more than Rs 120 crore. Only then the state government will be able to go ahead with the repatriation process,” Lalbiakzama said.
Even after the Centre approved the proposal, it would take the state government at least a month to procure rice from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for distribution among these families, he said.
Thousands of Bru families had migrated to neighbouring Tripura owing to a communal tension triggered by the murder of a game watcher by suspected militants on October 21, 1997.
Though a number of them have returned to Mizoram over the years, a sizeable population continued to live in the relief camps of the neighbouring state.