Over 5,600 Bru refugees so far enrolled in Tripura electoral rolls: Official

  • | Monday | 19th September, 2022

Agartala, Sep 19 (PTI) Over 5,600 Bru refugees, who have resettled and secured resident registration documents in Tripura, have been included in the electoral rolls in the northeastern state so far, an official said on Monday.The Bru refugees will be treated as permanent residents of Tripura after they shift to the newly designated locations, he said."Altogether 5,664 Bru people have been enrolled in the electoral rolls of Tripura so far. “The only condition for inclusion in the list is that they must settle in the designated rehabilitation villages and get a register of resident (RoR) document. Once the ROR is produced, block development officers (BDOs) will issue EPIC to them," Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao said.Of the total number of Bru people, who were uprooted from Mizoram’s Mamit district following ethnic clashes in 1997, 14,000 are expected to get enrolled in the voter list of Tripura, he said."The process is on to include all the eligible Brus," the official said.The CEO said his office is in touch with its Mizoram counterpart for the inclusion of Bru voters in Tripura.“Persons whose names were included in Tripura will be naturally deleted from the Mizoram electoral rolls," he said.On the delay over the inclusion of their names in the lists, the CEO said all the Bru people are supposed to be settled by August but it has not happened for various reasons.The state election machinery has already engaged fifteen special officers in resettlement villages spread over eight districts to expedite the process.The vexed Bru issue started in September 1997, following demands of a separate autonomous district council for the community by carving out areas of western Mizoram adjoining Bangladesh and Tripura. A large number of Bru people fled from Mizoram to Tripura as ethnic clashes broke out.The situation was aggravated by the murder of a forest guard in the Dampa Tiger Reserve in western Mizoram by Bru National Liberation Front insurgents on October 21 that year and another round of exodus followed.The Centre, along with the governments of Tripura and Mizoram, had tried several times to repatriate them to their home state, with little success. The first attempt to repatriate the Brus from Tripura was made in November 2009 and the last one in 2019.Many Bru families had refused to return to Mizoram, citing security concerns and inadequate rehabilitation package. Some others had also sought a separate autonomous council for the community.An agreement in January 2020 has allowed these tribal people to permanently settle in Tripura. PTI PS BDC BDC

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