15 polling stations in Mizoram for Bru refugees living in Tripura - Eastern Mirror
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15 polling stations in Mizoram for Bru refugees living in Tripura

By PTI Updated: Mar 18, 2019 10:30 pm

Aizawl, March 18 (PTI): A total of 15 temporary polling stations are being set up in Mamit district of Mizoram exclusively for Bru community voters living in relief camps in Tripura.

Of the 15 temporary polling stations, nine would be for Bru voters of Mamit district and three each for Lunglei and Kolasib districts of Mizoram, state Chief Electoral Officer Ashish Kundra said Monday.

A little over 12,000 Bru voters who originally hail from the three districts but now stay in six relief camps in the neighbouring state would exercise their franchise for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram on April 11.

Thousands of Bru community people had been lodged in the six relief camps in North Tripura district since late 1997 after they fled from Mizoram in the wake of a communal tension.

They would vote in the temporary polling stations being erected at Kanhmun village near Tripura border, Kundra said.

The Bru voters had cast their votes at the temporary polling stations at Kanhmun village during the Mizoram Assembly election held on November 28 last year.

The NGO Coordination Committee, an umbrella organisation of major civil societies and student bodies, had earlier threatened to launch agitation if temporary polling stations for the Brus were set up.

The organisation was of the opinion that those living outside Mizoram should not be allowed to vote in the state.

Appealing to the civil societies not to harden their stance, the CEO said launching a stir is a democratic right but thwarting the voting, also a democratic process, by agitation should be avoided.

The Centre and the governments of Tripura and Mizoram had taken steps to repatriate the Bru refugees but those efforts did not yield much.

Six companies of the central armed police force (CAPF) would be deployed during the Lok Sabha polls in the state as against 40 companies during the Assembly elections, he said.

Meanwhile, the People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) party Monday announced that TBV Lalvenchhunga would be its candidate for the state’s Lok Sabha seat.

Lalvenchhunga had unsuccessfully contested the state Assembly polls from Champhai North seat.

By PTI Updated: Mar 18, 2019 10:30:36 pm