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Bru voters appearing in an electoral hearing at Kanhmun village in Mizoram’s Mamit district on Tuesday
Bru voters appearing in an electoral hearing at Kanhmun village in Mizoram’s Mamit district on Tuesday|EastMojo image
NEWS

Over 2,000 Bru refugees turn up for electoral hearing in Mizoram

First-time voters from six relief camps in Tripura attend event at Kanhmun village in Mamit district

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: Even as Young Mizo Association (YMA), the largest civil body in Mizoram, has sought the removal of names of Bru voters, who are unwilling to return to Mizoram, from the state’s electoral rolls, over 2,000 Bru people from six relief camps in Tripura attended an electoral hearing at Kanhmun village in Mizoram’s Mamit district bordering Tripura on Tuesday.

Election officials on Wednesday said that the public hearing was conducted for the first-time Bru voters from nine assembly constituencies in Mamit, Lunglei and Kolasib districts.

Although around 3,500 people were called, only 2,836 people turned up for the hearing, they said.

Hachhek assembly constituency in Mamit district has the highest applicants at 1110, followed by Mamit constituency at 697. There are 164 new applicants in Dampa constituency in the district.

In Lunglei district, West Tuipui constituency has the highest first-time applicants at 117, followed by Thorang at 59 and Lunglei South at six.

Around 211 first-time Bru voters from Serlui constituency in Kolasib district appeared for the hearing, while 89 belonged to Tuirial constituency in the same district.

More than 100 applicants belonging to Kolasib constituency turned up at the hearing, which was conducted till 5 pm on Tuesday, according to officials.

Election officials said while majority of the Bru voters produced necessary documents like birth certificates and Aadhaar cards to support their identity as Mizoram residents, some failed to produce the pre-requisite documents.

The new enrolment will be disposed of after verification of the documents, they said.

Volunteers of YMA and Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) were also present at the hearing, sources in Mamit said.

Meanwhile, main opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) slammed the Election Commission for conducting a public hearing for Bru voters at Kanhmun. A statement issued by ZPM on Wednesday expressed strong opposition to the EC’s action for inviting around 3,500 Bru people for the electoral hearing.

The statement said that many of the first time voters were born in Tripura, who were unwilling to return to Mizoram despite repeated appeals by the Centre, state government and NGOs.