Aizawl: With assembly polls due in 2023, the Mizoram election department has urged its Tripura counterpart to expedite the process of enrollment of Bru voters in the neighbouring state electoral roll, an official said.

Mizoram Joint Chief Electoral Officer David Liansanglura Pachuau said that he requested the Tripura election department to speed up the electoral enrollment of Bru voters from Mizoram, who have re-settled in the neighbouring state

“I have spoken to the additional Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and assistant CEO in charge of the rehabilitation of Brus just recently and requested them to speed up the enrollment process keeping in mind the general elections due in next year-end, ” Pachuau said. 

He said that names of 1,992 Bru voters, who originally hailed from Mizoram, have been removed from the state voter list following their enrolment in Tripura electoral roll to date.

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The Bru voters originally belonged to nine assembly constituencies in the state, he said 

Of the 1,992 Bru voters, 1,633 hailed from the Tripura border Mamit district, 187 from Assam border Kolasib district and the remaining 172 belonged to Lunglei district in the southern part of the state, he said. 

Pachuau said that more than 5,000 Mizoram Brus had been reportedly enrolled in the Tripura voter list and the process of corresponding deletion requests to the Mizoram election department is relatively slow. 

As many as 11,759 Bru voters, including 5,751 female voters, who have been allowed to re-settle in Tripura, were enrolled in the Mizoram voter list. 

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General elections to a 40-member Mizoram assembly is due in the later part of next year.

Thousands of Bru voters had fled to Tripura following ethnic tension triggered by the murder of a Mizo forest officer by the erstwhile Bru militant in 1997.

Since then they have been living in transit camps for more than two decades. 

The first repatriation attempt in November 2009 was not only scuttled by the murder of a Mizo villager by the Bru militants, but also triggered another round of exodus.

The Centre and governments of Mizoram and Tripura had made at least 9 attempts to repatriate the Bru tribals from Tripura between 2009 and 2019. 

On January 16, 2020, the Centre, governments of Mizoram and Tripura and representatives of several Bru organisations had signed an agreement, according to which over 35,000 displaced Bru tribals who were reluctant to return to Mizoram during repatriation, were allowed to re-settle permanently in Tripura. 

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