For the first time, Bru refugees to have no participation in Mizoram Assembly polls

The 14,000 Bru refugees who have been resettled in Tripura will not be casting votes in the upcoming Mizoram Assembly election

October 30, 2023 01:00 am | Updated 01:00 am IST - Agartala

A Bru woman in the Naisingpara Bru refugee Relief camp.

A Bru woman in the Naisingpara Bru refugee Relief camp. | Photo Credit: The Hindu


For the first time Bru refugees will not participate in elections in Mizoram as they were given permanent settlement in Tripura under a Central government sponsored rehabilitation arrangement that came into effect in January 2020. Prior to this the Election Commission of India had to set up special polling stations on Tripura-Mizoram boundary to facilitate voting of the eligible displaced voters.

The Assembly election in Mizoram is slated for November 7; the first in the poll schedules for five election bound states.

The office of the CEO Mizoram earlier deleted over 14,000 Bru voters from the electoral rolls after they became permanent residents of Tripura. They are from the 6,959 families (37,136 persons) who were identified for permanent rehabilitation in Tripura with a financial package of ₹661 crore.

The evacuees had spent over two decades in six makeshift camps in north Tripura since they fled ethnic violence in Mizoram in October 1997. Repatriation and fresh influx of the Bru refugees in small groups continued till a quadripartite agreement involving Centre, Tripura, Mizoram governments and Bru refugee representatives signed on January 16 2020.

The resettlement of the Bru refugees in 12 identified places in Tripura is still ongoing and may take another few months to complete, officials here said. They added most of the conditions of the quadripartite agreement like free ration, financial allowances and essential commodities are regularly fulfilled under supervision of the designated government officials.

Even after large-scale rehabilitation in Tripura, hundreds of Bru tribe people continue to live in Mizoram, especially in the state’s Mamit district which was the scene of ethnic strife in 1997. There is no data available to attribute the number enrolled in voter chart to exercise franchise in November 7 assembly election in Mizoram.

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