The sixth phase repatriation of standard Reang refugees to Mizoram failed to kick off on Tuesday. Despite persuasion by Tripura government officials the refugees housed in makeshift camps refused to return unless Mizoram government fulfils their demands.

A senior government official in Agartala claimed 25 families managed to return on the day, but they took a different route to evade opposition from the camp mates. Some 35 thousand Reang or Bru displaced tribe people are lodged in six camps in Kanchanpur since they left Mizoram in 1997 amid scale of ethnic violence.

About 459 families were expected to get back home in the sixth phase repatriation schedule which was to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Mizoram government opened a base camp to receive returnees prelude to their rehabilitation in their original villages under a union home ministry aided rehabilitation package.

Refugees staged protests since morning outside their camps against the repatriation without conceding demands some of which are political in nature. The repatriation in the past five phases had also faced hurdles and only few hundred returned home so far.

The leaders of Reang refugees have also objected to the presence of Mizo student leaders in Zomuantlang and Kanhmun facilitation centres to verify repatriated Brus. Mizo student groups and social forums have warned Mizoram government against providing free access to Reangs without proper authentication.