Guwahati: The Election Commission (EC) of India has announced that the Bru refugees of Tripura will vote at Kanhmun village in Mizoram’s Mamit district in the upcoming assembly elections on November 28.
Ending the long contention about the venue of voting, the EC decided the Brus will vote in Mamit as the district has the highest number of registered Bru voters.
Despite the tribal leaders maintaining apprehensions about their safety and security in their home state, the poll body decided to bring 11,232 Brus to Mizoram for voting.
An official in the CEO office was quoted by media reports as saying, “We have been informed by the Election Commission that the polling for the Brus must be arranged at Kanhmun village inside Mizoram territory. We have started our preparations for that.”
Kanhmun is an interstate border village between Mizoram and Tripura.
The CEO official reportedly said that Mizoram CEO Ashish Kundra will receive an order from the EC within two days.
Bru voters are registered in nine Assembly seats in Mizoram and the poll body will place different voting machines at the special booth in the village.
Earlier on November 20, state CEO Kundra had visited largest Bru refugee camp at Naisingpara and informed them about the EC’s decision while meeting the refugees.
However, according to the report, the refugee leaders warned that Brus’ voter turnout may be zero as they fear their lives and asked the EC to review its decision.
After evading the ethnic tension in the 1990s, Bru refugees were sheltered in six camps about 2 to 10 km from the Mizoram border in Tripura.
Mamit has the highest number of Brus registered which has Dampa, Mamit and Hachhek seats with 14% of Bru voters. Mamit is followed by Kolasib district with 3.5% Bru voters.
Earlier this month, the EC had removed Shashank as the state chief electoral officer, accepting the demands of civil society groups, NGOs, student organisations and political parties
Earlier this month after powerful NGOs, youth organisations, and student organisations protest against ECI was forced to remove former CEO Shashank.