- Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura
Agartala, September 27, 2022 : The High Court of Tripura has asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to include the name of Bru community (voters) in the electoral rolls irrespective of their names in the RoR ahead of the village council elections.
The single bench of Justice Aridam Lodh was hearing a petition filed by Philip Apeto and three others for inclusion of Bru community (voters) in the electoral rolls of the state.
The SEC had published the electoral rolls on September 16 last, however, the majority of Bru settlers were not included in the lists on grounds of non-settlement in their allocated place and RoR list.
The court after hearing the arguments of the state counsel and the petitioner’s plea directed the SEC to complete the process of preparing the electoral roll expeditiously and hold the ensuing village council election before the first week of November next.
The court also observed that as per clause 4.9 reproduced under the Quadripartite Agreement, the person belonging to Bru (Reang) community has to be included in the electoral roll and the object of this clause in the Agreement is to treat them as a citizen of the State of Tripura having given their right to exercise their franchise.
The Court also observed, “It is further revealed that enrollment of Bru migrants are being done where house constructions are completed and the families have been provided with the RoR which are being done by concerned Block Development Officers. The Electoral Registration Officers are ready to enroll the names of Bru migrants subject to completion of house constructions and where issues like record of residence are solved by the concerned Block Development Officers.”
Earlier the High Court had directed the SEC to hold village council elections in the TTAADC areas by November this year.
The Court also took note of the data shared by the State Revenue Department which showed there are 15 designated locations identified for the settlement of Bru migrants and till date 5,009 persons have been enrolled out of approximate 21703 eligible Bru migrants at different locations.