We tend to forget that the situation in NE in some cases is worse than J&K. The AFSPA was applied here in the 1960s as compared to 1990 in J&K. Chidambaram urges Brus to return to Mizoram - The Times of India AGARTALA: On Saturday, hope and anticipation were palpable in the air at the displaced Reangs' camp near Naisinghpara in Kanchanpur subdivision of North Tripura as Union home minister P Chidambaram visited the camp to ensure their safe repatriation to their home in Mizoram. "Chidambaram's visit to Tripura specifically for Reang repatriation has rekindled our hope that some effective and everlasting solution to the standoff will be arrived at," said a senior official from North Tripura. And the Union home minister did not disappoint. Chidambaram, who arrived in Agartala in a BSF flight at 12.20 pm and flew directly to Naisinghpara in a BSF chopper, asked the displaced Reangs, also known as Brus, to return to their home in Mizoram. He met the Reang leaders currently sheltered in six camps in North Tripura and said the Centre has made all efforts to ensure their safety and rehabilitation when they go back to Mizoram. PC informed that DoNER has already been given the go ahead to ensure the rehabilitation package, which would take care of almost all aspects, including security, shelter, food, health, education, electricity etc. Financial assistance of about Rs 30 crore has already been sanctioned and more would be done as and when necessary. "But first you have to return to Mizoram. Then whatever is required would be put in place," Chidambaram told the Reang leaders. "So far, 790 Reang families had already gone back to Mizoram and 5,900 more families will also return to home." The home minister discussed the displaced Reangs' repatriation with senior officials of Tripura and Mizoram government at a meeting held at Gachhirampara Community hall in Kanchanpur. Tripura chief secretary S K Panda, Mizoram chief secretary Vanhela Pachuau, Tripura IG K Nagraj, IG B K Roy, DM North Tripura Prashanth Kumar, SP B K Nag, Mizoram SP (SB) C Laldina are the senior officials who participated in the meeting. Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF), an organization of the camp inmates, discussed with the home minister their demands for repatriation. But there were differences of opinions about the pre-conditions of the repatriation. While many felt that if the Centre and Mizoram governments could ensure them land, security and financial assistance, they would be happy to return; some, however, stuck to their old demand for regional autonomy in Mizoram. Ramkrishna Reang, a teacher at a camp school, said the Reangs would not budge from their demand for regional autonomy as without a self-governing body their very existence in Mizoram would be at stake. "We want to get back to our homeland but for this we need security, land and financial assistance" said a Reang leader who identified himself as Francis. Official sources indicated that Mizoram government had agreed to take back the Reangs and ensure security and other rehabilitation packages for them with Centre's help. In Agartala, the home minister said he would visit Aizwal next month to review the repatriation and rehabilitation of the Reangs. "I may come once again to Tripura for this," he added. On Friday, a tripartite meeting of the Centre and the Tripura and Mizoram governments in Agartala decided to settle some issues before the high profile visit. The Centre was represented by joint secretary to home S Singh. The meeting dwelt extensively on the modalities and issues to be discussed and resolved meaningfully during Chidambaram's visit to the camps. The community was displaced from their homes in Mizoram 14 years ago when a series of communal riots between the Reangs and the Mizos racked areas adjoining North Tripura district on the night of 15-16 October 1997. Thousands of Reangs then fled to Kanchanpur subdivision and under the Tripura government were sheltered in six camps. At present, there are 36,663 Reangs in Tripura. For the last 14 years, several talks involving the Mizoram, Tripura and central governments and the Reangs failed to resolve the impasse over their repatriation to Mizoram continued as the internally displaced Brus languished in the camps and lived a wretched life. Tripura government and the displaced Reangs have always said that the Mizoram government was reluctant to take back these people.