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Mizoram civil societies revoke poll boycott

By Correspondent
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AIZAWL, April 4 - NGOs Coordination Committee, a conglomeration of all major civil societies and students� organisations in Mizoram, today revoked its decision to boycott the election to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram.

The NGOs Coordination Committee had called for an indefinite strike from April 8 in protest against the decision of the Election Commission (EC) to set up exclusive polling booths at Kanhmun village, on the Mizoram-Tripura border, for the Bru voters lodged in six relief camps of Tripura.

They were demanding that the Bru refugees, who refused to return to Mizoram despite several attempts to repatriate them, should be made to cast their votes in the respective polling stations in Mizoram where they are enlisted as voters.

Election to the State�s lone Lok Sabha seat and by-election to Aizawl West-I Assembly constituency will be held simultaneously on April 11. This means that the proposed indefinite bandh will prevent people from casting their votes.

A statement issued by the Committee said that the boycott was called off after the State Government promised to end the Bru imbroglio by undertaking the last and final repatriation process this year.

Lalhmachhuana, the secretary of the Committee, said the decision was reversed as the organisation did not want to create inconvenience to the people.

Thousands of Bru refugees fled to Tripura from Mizoram during an ethnic violence in 1997. The attempts by the Centre, in association with the Governments of Mizoram and Tripura, to repatriate the displaced Brus in phases have failed so far.

Several refugees have returned to Mizoram over the years, but many refused to leave Tripura citing security reasons and inadequate rehabilitation packages.

The State Election office has set up 15 polling booths at Kanhmun village for 12,081 Bru voters, in accordance with the instruction of the Election Commission.

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Mizoram civil societies revoke poll boycott

AIZAWL, April 4 - NGOs Coordination Committee, a conglomeration of all major civil societies and students� organisations in Mizoram, today revoked its decision to boycott the election to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram.

The NGOs Coordination Committee had called for an indefinite strike from April 8 in protest against the decision of the Election Commission (EC) to set up exclusive polling booths at Kanhmun village, on the Mizoram-Tripura border, for the Bru voters lodged in six relief camps of Tripura.

They were demanding that the Bru refugees, who refused to return to Mizoram despite several attempts to repatriate them, should be made to cast their votes in the respective polling stations in Mizoram where they are enlisted as voters.

Election to the State�s lone Lok Sabha seat and by-election to Aizawl West-I Assembly constituency will be held simultaneously on April 11. This means that the proposed indefinite bandh will prevent people from casting their votes.

A statement issued by the Committee said that the boycott was called off after the State Government promised to end the Bru imbroglio by undertaking the last and final repatriation process this year.

Lalhmachhuana, the secretary of the Committee, said the decision was reversed as the organisation did not want to create inconvenience to the people.

Thousands of Bru refugees fled to Tripura from Mizoram during an ethnic violence in 1997. The attempts by the Centre, in association with the Governments of Mizoram and Tripura, to repatriate the displaced Brus in phases have failed so far.

Several refugees have returned to Mizoram over the years, but many refused to leave Tripura citing security reasons and inadequate rehabilitation packages.

The State Election office has set up 15 polling booths at Kanhmun village for 12,081 Bru voters, in accordance with the instruction of the Election Commission.

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