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Reang refugees demand separate polling stations

By The Assam Tribune
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AGARTALA/AIZAWL, Oct 30 - Reang tribals, sheltered in Tripura for over 20 years, have demanded the setting up of polling stations in refugee camps to cast their votes for the November 28 Mizoram Assembly polls, a refugee leader said.

Over 35,000 Reang tribal refugees, comprising 5,907 families, who fled from Mizoram, have been living in Tripura�s Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivisions since October 1997 following ethnic tension after a Mizo forest official was killed in the neighbouring State.

Among the refugees, only a little over 11,000 immigrants are eligible to vote in next month�s elections to constitute a new Assembly in the Congress-ruled Mizoram.

�Though the names of a little over 11,000 refugees are enrolled in the electoral lists of Mizoram, there are over 5,000 more people among the immigrants who have the eligibility to become voters. But due to the negligence of the Mizoram administration, their names are yet to be enrolled in the electoral lists,� refugee leader Bruno Msha told this news agency over phone from Kanchanpur.

Msha, who is the general secretary of the refugees� apex body, Mizoram Bru Displaced People�s Forum (MBDPF), said that the Election Commission and the Mizoram Election Department were yet to respond to their demand for setting up the polling stations.

A senior official of the Mizoram Election Department said that the issue of setting up the polling stations was discussed when the full Election Commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat visited the State on October 16. �However, the Commission has not yet communicated its decision to us in this regard,� the official said. � IANS

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Reang refugees demand separate polling stations

AGARTALA/AIZAWL, Oct 30 - Reang tribals, sheltered in Tripura for over 20 years, have demanded the setting up of polling stations in refugee camps to cast their votes for the November 28 Mizoram Assembly polls, a refugee leader said.

Over 35,000 Reang tribal refugees, comprising 5,907 families, who fled from Mizoram, have been living in Tripura�s Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivisions since October 1997 following ethnic tension after a Mizo forest official was killed in the neighbouring State.

Among the refugees, only a little over 11,000 immigrants are eligible to vote in next month�s elections to constitute a new Assembly in the Congress-ruled Mizoram.

�Though the names of a little over 11,000 refugees are enrolled in the electoral lists of Mizoram, there are over 5,000 more people among the immigrants who have the eligibility to become voters. But due to the negligence of the Mizoram administration, their names are yet to be enrolled in the electoral lists,� refugee leader Bruno Msha told this news agency over phone from Kanchanpur.

Msha, who is the general secretary of the refugees� apex body, Mizoram Bru Displaced People�s Forum (MBDPF), said that the Election Commission and the Mizoram Election Department were yet to respond to their demand for setting up the polling stations.

A senior official of the Mizoram Election Department said that the issue of setting up the polling stations was discussed when the full Election Commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat visited the State on October 16. �However, the Commission has not yet communicated its decision to us in this regard,� the official said. � IANS

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