Mizoram civil societies reverse decision to boycott LS polls

Mizoram civil societies reverse decision to boycott LS polls

AIZAWL, April 4, 2019: An apex body of major civil societies and student associations in Mizoram, which had earlier sought to boycott the Lok Sabha election, reversed its decision on Thursday following an internal meeting of the organisation's top hierarchy.

Election to the state's lone Lok sabha seat and by- election to Aizawl West-I assembly constituency will be held simultaneously on April 11.

The NGO Coordination Committee had called for an indefinite strike from April 8 in protest against the decision of the Election Commission(EC) to set up exclusive polling booths at Kanhmun village, on the Mizoram-Tripura border, for the Bru voters lodged in six relief camps of Tripura.

A statement issued by the committee claimed that the boycott was called off after the state government promised to end the Bru imbroglio by undertaking the last and final repatriation process this year.

Lalhmachhuana, the secretary of the committee, said the decision was reversed as the organization did not want to inconvenience common people.

Thousands of Bru refugees fled to Tripura from Mizoram during an ethnic violence in 1997. The Centre, in association with the governments of Mizoram and Tripura, have been trying to repatriate the displaced Brus in phases.

Several refugees have returned to Mizoram over the years, but many refused to leave Tripura citing security reasons and inadequate rehabilitation packages.

The state election office has set up 15 polling booths at Kanhmun village for 12,081 Bru voters, in accordance with the instruction of the EC.

(PTI)

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