AIZWAL: The Election Commission of India has accepted the suggestion of the Mizoram government that electoral roll revision for Bru community, lodged in the six relief camps in Tripura, would be conducted only after they return to Mizoram, a senior state official today said.
Principal Secretary of Home Department, Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said that the Election Commission had earlier instructed the state election department to undertake revision of voters' lists in the Bru relief camps which was objected by the state government.
The state government had suggested to the Commission that the revision of electoral rolls should be taken up after the Brus return to Mizoram from Tripura, Chuaungo said.
Civil societies have all along been objecting the conduct of revision of voters' lists and exercise of franchise by Bru displaced people in the relief camps outside the state.
He said that the repatriation of Brus lodged in the six relief camps is scheduled to commence from August 14 and would be completed by September 10 and preparations were in full swing in the three districts where the repatriated Brus were proposed to be resettled.
At least 32,876 Brus belonging to 5,407 families would be resettled in 48 villages in Mamit district, 10 villages in Kolasib district and four villages in Lunglei district.
The state government would go ahead with the road map for Bru repatriation approved by the Centre and following the agreement inked between the centre, Mizoram and Tripura state governments and the Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF) apex body of the Bru refugees in the relief camps on July two, even if the inmates are not willing to return to Mizoram, he said.
The Centre had convened a meeting of chief ministers of Mizoram and Tripura on July two in which it was agreed that repatriation of all the 32,876 Brus belonging to 5,407 families lodged in the six relief camps should be completed by September 30.
The Centre would deposit Rs 4 lakh in the bank account of each repatriated family which could be withdrawn after three years and a housing assistance to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh would be disbursed to each family.
Each family would also be provided with monthly assistance of Rs 5,000 for two years and free ration for the same period.
Thousands of Brus are lodged in the Tripura relief camps since late 1997 in the wake of a communal tension triggered by the brutal murder of Lalzawmliana, a forest guard inside the Dampa Tiger Reserve on October 21, 1997 by Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) militants.
Though some Bru families had already returned to Mizoram during a number of repatriation processes and on their own will, many of them continued to refuse to leave Tripura till date despite many attempts.