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PRISM leaders on Tuesday made written appeals to all political parties in the state to join the crusade against Bangladeshi immigrants and Bru voters of Tripura
PRISM leaders on Tuesday made written appeals to all political parties in the state to join the crusade against Bangladeshi immigrants and Bru voters of Tripura|Representational image
MIZORAM

Mizoram: PRISM launches crusade against Bangladeshi immigrants

The party also initiated a campaign against Bru voters so that they are denied voting rights in the state as long as they live in relief camps in neighbouring Tripura

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) on Tuesday launched crusade against Bangladeshi illegal immigrants to ensure they are deported from the state immediately.

Simultaneously, the party also launched campaign against the Bru voters so that they are denied voting rights in Mizoram as long as they live in relief camps in neighbouring Tripura.

PRISM is a newly floated political party, which was earlier functioned as anti-corruption watchdog.

The party on Tuesday made written appeals to all political parties in the state to join the crusade against the Bangladeshi immigrants and the Bru voters in Tripura, who are unwilling to return to Mizoram.

Letters were sent to the presidents of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), Congress, BJP, Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) and Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC)

In its letters, PRISM said that the Centre is trying to re-introduce Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was strongly opposed by the Mizo people, political parties and civil societies.

Even if all the people of Mizoram oppose the bill, it is uncertain that the government will not re-introduce the bill, the party said. “All the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh should be sent back to their country as soon as possible before the Centre re-introduces the citizenship bill,” the letters said.

The party also said that it would file a Public Litigation Interest (PIL) against the Bru voting rights in Mizoram.

It alleged that several Bru people lodging at six relief camps in Tripura are allowed to exercise their franchise in Mizoram because of the unlawful act of the Election Commission.

PRISM president Vanlalruata said the poll panel declared the Bru people as ordinary residents of Mizoram on September 6, 2014. He said that the Election Commission was not a competent authority to make such declaration as it is within the purview of the union ministry of home affairs.

The party said that the Bru people, who are unwilling to return to Mizoram should not be allowed to exercise their franchise in the state.

NGO Co-ordination Committee, a conglomerate of major civil societies and student bodies has also been demanding deletion of Bru voters, who are unwilling to return to Mizoram, from the state electoral roll.

On Monday, Prism had also written to home minister Lalchamliana, asking him to deport Bangladeshi foreigners before the Centre re-introduces citizenship bill.

The Mizoram government will conduct the final phase of Bru repatriation in September. The repatriation will be completed by October after which the Centre will close down all Bru camps in Tripura and stop giving ration to the refugees, official said.

Officials of state home department and district administrations of Mamit, Lunglei and Kolasib have left for Tripura on Tuesday to conduct identification of the the Bru people, which is scheduled to be completed by July 20.

More than 32,000 Bru tribals are lodged at six relief camps in North Tripura district since they fled Mizoram following ethnic violence triggered by the murder of a Mizo forest guard in 1997.