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Twin promises placate Reangs

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Agartala
  • Published 14.09.08
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Agartala, Sept. 14: An explosive situation has emerged in the six Reang refugee camps in the remote areas of Kanchanpur subdivision of North Tripura over the twin issues of issuing photo identity cards for voters among the refugees and non-inclusion of newborns in the official list of inmates.

A six-member delegation of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights that was in Agartala recorded the grievances of inmates regarding non-inclusion of newborn children in the list of inmates in all the six camps.

The subdivisional officer of Kanchanpur, Narayan Debbarma, said the team was accompanied by the commissioners of the departments of social welfare and relief and rehabilitation in the course of the hearing. “On September 9, the team held a meeting at Agartala with senior government officials. They left for Delhi to file their report,” Debbarma said, adding in due course of time names of all the newborn children would be enlisted.

Apart from the non-inclusion of names in the list of inmates, the six refugee camps in Kanchanpur subdivision functioning since October 1997 are now agog with the issue of photo identity cards for voting rights in the forthcoming elections to Mizoram Assembly. Debbarma said last month, the Election Commission had threatened the Mizoram government with postponing the Assembly polls unless the Reang refugee voters encamped in Tripura were issued photo identity cards.

Capitalising on the issue, the Opposition Congress had also raised the demand for imposition of President’s rule in the state. “It was only after the commission’s threat and the Congress demand for President’s rule that the Mizoram government shook off its dithering over the issue and sent a group of officials to the camps for issuing photo identity cards,” Debbarma said.

He added that following complaints, two senior officials of the Election Commission accompanied by the Mizoram government officials arrived at the camps on September 1 and distributed 18,000 photo identity cards among voters whose names figure in the electoral roll.