Sinlung /
22 May 2012

Hmar Refugees 'Protected' As Per Rule Book: Mizoram, May 22 : The Mizoram government today clarified that the Hmar refugees, who took Shelter in the state in the wake of ethnic violence in Assam during past two years, were given protection as per "standard operation procedure".

The government's statement was in reaction to reports in some vernacular dailies that the displaced Hmars were denied job cards under the NREGS, which sparked off a hot debate in the social networking sites as the Hmars belong to Mizo tribes.

According to the official statement, 39 Hmar families living along Jatinga (Assam) to Bairabi (Mizoram) railway fled to Mizoram during October 14-17, 2011.

While some families were given shelter in makeshift camps in Bairabi, some families stayed with their relatives in other villages.

"Besides giving them free ration, the Mizoram government also provided them with special scheme of daily employment," the statement said.

"However, as the internally displaced people are supposed to be enrolled in the electoral roll and have job cards in their own state, the Mizoram government barred them from getting every facility it provides to the citizens," it added.

As normalcy returned to the Dima Hasao district, all the refugees returned to their homes by October 24 last year, said the government's release.

The government made it clear that there is an all India standard operation procedure to deal with internally displaced persons, and it is under this procedure that the Tripura government has been treating the Bru refugees from Mizoram during the last 14 years.

The Bru refugees were never given job cards by the Tripura government, it said.

It also made it a point that many Hmar families who fled their home states of Manipur and Assam following communal conflicts during the period of 1990 to 2003 have permanently settled in different villages and towns in Mizoram. Understanding their situation, the Mizoram government has never made any attempt to send them back. On the contrary, it treats them equally with the permanent citizens of Mizoram, the statement said.


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