Mizoram Northeast

Mizoram by polls: YMA threatens to obstruct Bru voters

Mizoram’s apex civil society organisation Young Mizo Association (YMA) on Wednesday reiterated that it would obstruct and disrupt the Bru voters if special polling booths are arranged for them in the upcoming by poll for the Tuirial assembly seat.

The Brus are now living in Tripura transit camps and are already allowed to re-settle in that state.
The by poll to Tuirial, the assembly seat which was left vacant after the death of its incumbent MLA Andrew H. Thangliana of the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) party, is scheduled to be held on October 30.

According to election officials, there are 663 Bru voters, who are already permitted to re-settle in Tripura, in the Tuirial assembly constituency and they belong to two polling centres.

Central YMA president Vanlalruata said on Wednesday that the organisation has been demanding the deletion of names of the Bru voters, who have been already allowed to re-settle in Tripura after the agreement in January last year, from the state voter list.

He said that the Bru voters are now no more belong to Mizoram as they refused to return to the state during repatriation and have also been allowed to permanently resettle in Tripura.

“We strongly oppose any measure for arranging special polling booths for the Bru voters in the upcoming by-poll. However, we are okay if the Bru voters come to cast their votes in their respective polling stations in Mizoram on their own,” he said.

He said that the organization would stage an obstruction if special polling booths are arranged for the Bru voters.

In the past, the Bru voters in Tripura were allowed to exercise their franchise at polling booths specially arranged for the purpose of the Mizoram-Tripura border.

In 2014, civil society groups staged a 72-hour total shutdown opposing the Election Commission’s decision to allow Bru refugees to cast their votes through postal ballots from relief camps in North Tripura district, which forced the poll panel to defer the Lok Sabha elections in the tribal state.

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