- Ezrela Dalidia Fanai, NET Correspondent, Mizoram
The NGO Coordination Committee (comprising of 3 NGOs and 2 Student bodies) held a meeting today at Central Young Mizo Association (YMA) Committee room, where the board decided to push the state government for removing the Brus from the Mizoram Electoral Roll – the ones who have decided to settle in Tripura.
Currently 11,772 Bru voters have been residing in Tripura relief camps, and the NGO Coordination Committee decided that Bru population, who have migrated to Tripura and have been unwilling to return to Mizoram even after repatriation process, should be removed from the Electoral roll. They have also decided to meet the Chief Minister and Home Minister on the matter.
Thousands of Bru families fled Mizoram and migrated to Tripura following tensions by the murder of Lalzawmliana, a Mizo forest guard, near Persang, inside the Dampa tiger reserve in Mamit district by suspected Bru militants on October 21, 1997.
Several attempts by the Centre, Mizoram and Tripura governments, to repatriate them since 2009 remained futile as they did not accept the repatriation packages.
The 5400 families (34,000 individuals) that had been selected for repatriation to Mizoram are provided a free ration and Rs 5,000 per month per family for a period of two years by the state government. They are also given a plot of land and a fixed deposit of 4 lakhs per family into their account.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) have stated that unless the Bru population are absorbed by Tripura and given all the required packages, and are included in the electoral roll of Tripura, their names cannot be removed from Mizoram’s electoral roll.
Its worthy to note that an agreement was signed in 2020 where the Central Government, state governments of Tripura & Mizoram, and representatives from Bru community have agreed that those who want to return to Mizoram shall return, and those that decided to settle in Tripura shall be allowed the same.
Meanwhile, from the 11,772 Bru voters currently residing in Tripura relief camps, 8,885 have been casting votes in Mamit district, 1979 at Kolasib district and 908 at Lunglei district.