Regular-article-logo Saturday, 10 June 2023

Mizoram Bru forum backs CEO Shashank

Brus say they will vote from Tripura relief camps, but Mizos are against this, and want CEO removed

Our Special Correspondent Published 07.11.18, 06:45 PM
Protesters in Aizawl on Tuesday

Protesters in Aizawl on Tuesday Telegraph picture

The Mizoram Bru Displaced People Coordination Committee is backing chief electoral officer S.B. Shashank and said he was doing his “constitutional duty”. It also asserted that community members would vote in the relief camps of Tripura, a stand vehemently opposed by Mizo civil society groups.

Committee president Laldingliana said, “Everyone has the right to vote and the CEO is only carrying out his constitutional duty by neither supporting us nor going against the Constitution. What is happening is unlawful. We strongly condemn the protest against the CEO. We will vote in the six relief camps and are ready for postal ballots.”


Thousands of Mizos had on Tuesday gheraoed the CEO’s office seeking his removal because of his alleged pro-Bru stance.

Two decades ago, thousands of Brus fled to Tripura because of communal tension triggered by the murder of Lalzawmliana, a Mizo forest guard, near Persang hamlet inside the Dampa tiger reserve in Mamit district by suspected Bru militants on October 21, 1997. The Bru leader also said they had been mostly supporting the ruling Congress but the “anti-Bru situation is likely to see a change” in the government. “The unfolding situation will definitely impact the ensuing Assembly polls. The sentiments of the Brus in Mizoram and those in the relief camps are the same. We will try to change the state government by any means. I support what the BJP is doing for the Bru people but I can’t say for whom we will vote,” Laldingliana said.

The first effort to repatriate the displaced Brus from November 16, 2009, was not only scuttled by the murder of Zarzokima of Bungthuam village three days earlier, but also triggered another round of exodus.

Though a number of Bru families returned to Mizoram during repeated repatriation process, a sizeable number of families remained in Tripura.

According to the quadripartite agreement between the Centre, the governments of Mizoram and Tripura and the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum on July 3 this year, about 32,876 Bru people belonging to 5,407 families would return to Mizoram from August this year. Between August and September this year, only around 40 of 5,407 families returned to Mizoram after the Centre decided to stop ration to the refugees. Most Bru refugees refused to return because they were unhappy with the repatriation package offered by the Centre.

Additional reporting by Henry L. Khojol in Aizawl

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