Mizoram | Govt will not allow Brus to exercise voting rights: State Home Minister

Mizoram | Govt will not allow Brus to exercise voting rights: State Home Minister

AIZAWL, July 20, 2018: Mizoram home minister R. Lalzirliana has said, in a media interview on Wednesday, that the state government would not allow the Bru tribals to exercise voting rights outside Mizoram or conduct revision of electoral rolls at the camps.

The Bru tribals are currently lodged at six transit camps in Tripura,

Speaking to the media, Lalzirliana said that the Election Commission had recently told the government to conduct revision of electoral rolls for Bru voters at the six relief camps in Tripura.

"Though the state election commission wanted to revise the electoral roll for the Bru tribals, the government has opposed the move," he said. But he said it should be done for genuine Bru residents who had returned to Mizoram.

Saying the Mizoram government would not allow Bru tribals to exercise right to franchise at their respective relief camps in Tripura, Lalzirliana said it is firm in its decision that only the repatriated Brus can vote in Mizoram.

He said the Election Commission had agreed to this, but it is yet to send an official intimation about Bru tribals opposing repatriation offers. Lalzirliana said the Mizoram government does not have enough land to give to the displaced Bru families.

He added that the Mizoram government had no objection against repatriation packages demanded by the Bru families from the Centre.

The Mizoram home minister said the state government was trying to ensure that about 1,648 Bru families, who had already returned to Mizoram get repatriation packages and compensation on a par with the Brus who are to be repatriated soon.

After a series of meetings, the representatives of the Tripura and the Mizoram governments, home ministry officials and leaders of the Bru Displaced People's Forum signed an agreement on July 3 in New Delhi.

According to the agreement, 32,876 Bru tribals, comprising 5,407 families, will start returning home from August 16. The multi-phase repatriation will be completed by September 30.

Uncertainty gripped repatriation of Bru tribals from Tripura to Mizoram after the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples' Forum pulled out of the quadripartite agreement following a severe agitation by the refugees over repatriation packages.

The Mizoram government is making hectic preparations to repatriate the Bru tribals. A meeting to this effect was convened on Thursday in Mamit bordering Tripura.

The meeting was attended by Mamit district deputy commissioner Bhupesh Chaudhary, home department joint secretary Lalbiaksangi and officer-on-special duty of home department, David H. Lalthangliana.

Source: The Telegraph ( https://www.telegraphindia.com/)

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