Delete names of Bru voters gone to Tripura: Mizoram Opposition

Bru refugees at a relief camp in Tripura. File  

The Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), Mizoram’s Opposition party, has written to the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking deletion from the State’s electoral rolls the names of Bru voters who took refuge in and are to be resettled in Tripura.

The development has come amid growing resistance to the Tripura government’s bid to rehabilitate the Bru refugees in large groups in the northern part of the State instead of scattering them across all the eight districts.

“The Brus who left Mizoram for adjoining Tripura on their own are still enrolled in Mizoram’s electoral rolls more than two decades after their departure in 1997. Those who chose to settle in Tripura must be removed from the voters’ list in Mizoram,” ZPM leader Landinpuia said.

Quadripartite agreement

The party referred to the quadripartite agreement on January 16 while placing the demand via the State Electoral Officer on Monday, he stated. The meeting was signed among the Ministry of Home Affairs, the governments of Mizoram and Tripura and the organisations representing some 6,500 families of the Bru refugees.

Of more than 35,000 Brus who opted to permanently settle in Tripura instead of returning to Mizoram like a few others, about 12,000 are voters in Mizoram.

Officials of Mizoram’s election department said the Brus who were still enrolled in the State because their resettlement in Tripura was still under process.

More than 40,000 Brus had fled Mizoram fearing ethnic violence after a Mizo forest guard was murdered in 1997 in an area close to their settlements.

The Centre and the Mizoram and Tripura governments made nine attempts to repatriate the Brus in Mizoram but only 11,107 of the refugees went back. The rest stayed put as they were not happy with the repatriation package and sceptical about the assurances of safety.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 10:17:27 PM |

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