Aizawl, Oct 6 (PTI) Proposals to remove names of the Bru people, who have been allowed to resettle in Tripura, from the voter list of their homeland Mizoram are being considered, state Chief Electoral Officer P Jawahar said on Wednesday.
During a meeting with representatives of political parties and civil society organisations in view of the by-poll to Tuirial assembly seat in Kolasib district, the CEO said petitions, which sought deletion of the names of the Bru voters who have been permitted to permanently resettle in the neighbouring state, from the Mizoram electoral roll, have been submitted to the Election Commission.
Thousands of the Bru tribal people have been living in relief camps in Tripura since 1997. They had fled their homeland Mizoram to reach the neighbouring state because of ethnic clashes. By now, their number has risen to over 35,000.
Several displaced Bru families found new homes in Tripura following an agreement signed in January last year among representatives of the community, the Centre and the governments of Tripura and Mizoram.
A 1,200-square feet plot has been allotted to each rehabilitated Bru family and Rs 1.5 lakh provided by the government to set up a home. The Tripura government has decided to provide Antodaya cards to 6,959 Bru families, who are being permanently resettled in the state.
Nearly 12,000 Bru electors are still enrolled in the voter list in Mizoram, including 663 in the Tuirial assembly segment, as their resettlement in neighbouring Tripura is under process, an official of the CEO's office had said.
Various political parties and civil society organisations were asked to submit their views on the issue and their opinions have also been sent to the commission, Jawahar said.
In view of the upcoming by-poll, the Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), the largest civil society organisation in Mizoram, had also appealed to the CEO not to make special polling booths for the Bru voters in Tripura but allow them to exercise their franchise in Mizoram.
Kolasib YMA sub-headquarters president Thomas D Lalengliana, who attended the meeting on Wednesday, reiterated that the organisation would oppose if special polling booths are arranged for the Tripura Bru voters in the upcoming by-election.
More than 90 per cent of about 35,000 displaced Bru people, who did not return to Mizoram during the repatriation process, are staying at Tripura camps, the EC officials said.
Jawahar said any candidate, who is yet to receive 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine, should produce a negative RT-PCR test report.
Active COVID-19 patients will cast their votes between 5 pm and 6 pm, and polling officials will wear PPE during that hour.
The by-poll to the Tuirial assembly seat will be held on October 30.
The by-election was necessitated due to the death of ZPM MLA Andrew H Thangliana on August 17. Votes will be counted on November 2.
According to the EC data, the constituency has 17,927 electorates, including 9,099 female voters. PTI COR BDC BDC
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