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Bru body urges Mizoram not to delete some Bru voters’ names

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Aizawl: Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), the largest association of Bru community who migrated to Tripura from Mizoram, on Wednesday, asked the Election Commission of India not to delete the names of at least 3,500 Bru voters from Mizoram voters’ lists.

MBDPF general secretary Bruno Msha sent a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner asking the latter to keep the names of Bru voters on the electoral roll of Mizoram who were left out during the population census conducted by the Tripura government, as the forthcoming General Assembly Election in Mizoram is expected to be held in November 2023.

“I would like to bring to your kind notice that many names of Bru IDPs are not yet registered in the electoral roll of Tripura since 651 families which is under the total 6,959 families as per the Quadripartite Agreement signed on 16 January 2020 and approximately 478 families who have been left out during the population census conducted by the Government of Tripura in June-August-2020 but who are having the population census slip as conducted the population census by Government of Mizoram in 2016 & 2019”, Msha said in his letter.

He also said that their condition is still uncertain whether to settle in Tripura or in Mizoram as the Quadrilateral Agreement of 2020 gave the option to the Bru families to repatriate to Mizoram as per the agreement of 3 July, 2018.

“I would like to request your honour to kindly keep the names of Bru IDPs in the Electoral Rolls of Mizoram till the ensuing general assembly election to be held in November to exercise their universal adult franchise which is a vital importance and mandatory for the citizen of India”, he added.

Msha told Zoram Chronicle over phone that amongst the Bru voters who have chosen to settle in Tripura but still not enrolled in the Tripura electoral rolls will be around 3,500.

He said that the settlement process, especially allotment of lands for Bru displaced people in Tripura as well as enrolment in the electoral roll, was an arduous process and takes time.

Meanwhile, all the 11,997 Bru voters’ names, who had settled permanently in Tripura have been deleted by Mizoram election officials, sources in the state election department said.

However, the real picture will only be known in the final publication of the state electoral roll on October 4 as the revision of electoral roll is still a continued process, a senior election department official said.

The official said that the state election department is yet to receive any intimation on the MBDPF letter from the Election Commission of India till date.

Deletion of Bru voters could only be undertaken after a quadrilateral agreement was signed between the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mizoram and Tripura state governments and different Bru bodies in the relief camps on January 16, 2020 in which it was agreed that the Bru community in Tripura relief camps who did not like to return to Mizoram are allowed to settle permanently in Tripura.

Thousands of members of Bru community migrated to neighbouring Tripura after the murder of Lalzawmliana, a forest guard working inside the Dampa Tiger Reserve on October 21, 1997 near Persang hamlet by Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) insurgents.

Several efforts to repatriate the Brus from Tripura to Mizoram failed and the Delhi agreement allowed them to settle over 32,000 Brus in Tripura and to be enrolled in Tripura voters’ lists. 

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Zoram Chronicle