The NGO Coordination Committee, a conglomerate of major civil society organizations and students’ bodies in Mizoram has appealed to all political parties and candidates of the ensuing Assembly elections not to arrange any transport facilities for the Bru voters in Tripura.
A press statement issued by the committee on Sunday stated that the Election Commission and Mizoram People’s Forum (MPF), a church sponsored poll watchdog strictly prohibited arrangement of transport facilities to ferry voters from one place to their respective polling stations.
The statement also said that all political parties are expected to respect the Election Commission’s model code of conduct and honour the memorandum signed with the MPF for ensuring free and fair elections.
The committee appealed to all political parties to act in fair manner so that the upcoming Assembly election is held under fair and peaceful atmosphere.
There are more than 11,500 Bru voters in Tripura.
The Election Commission is planning to set up polling booths for the displaced Bru people at Kanhmun village in Mizoram;s Mamit district adjoining Tripura, around a two-hour drive from the relief camps where the Bru community lives, according to officials.
Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) had informed the media that he hoped that the Bru voters would exercise their franchise at Kanhmun though a final decision is yet to be made by the Commission in this regard.
Civil society groups in Mizoram have demanded that the Bru voters should be asked to cast their votes inside Mizoram as they are residents of the State.
Meanwhile, the Mizoram Bru Indigenous Democratic Movement (MBIDM) sent a memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) imploring him to set up polling stations inside the relief camps for safety and security of the inmates and for free and fair elections.
The Bru body highlighted the plight of the community ahead of the Assembly elections and demanded that the Bru voters be allowed to vote from their relief camps.
The Bru body also expressed serious apprehension as the demand the NGO Coordination Committee in Mizoram that 600 names of Bru indigenous people be dropped from the electoral rolls.
It accused Mizoram civil society groups of trying to deprive bonafide citizens from exercising their franchise in the upcoming Assembly elections in Mizoram.