Sinlung /
29 January 2014

Mizo Students threaten to boycott LS elections, Jan 29 : Mizo Students’ Union (MSU), one of the largest and most active student bodies in Mizoram has threatened to boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the state if the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not entertain the demand of MSU to disallow Brus camped in Tripura from voting in Mizoram in the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll.

In the executive meeting held today under the leadership of its president, Zodinpuia, which was attended by leaders of College Students’ Union (SU) and Hnampual Zirlai Pawl (various students’ organizations), leaders of the student bodies unanimously agreed to boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha election if their demand is not met.
On Monday, Mizo Students' Union (MSU) had lodged complaint to Union Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, regarding the troubles and obnoxious acts created by Bru community against the Mizos, MSU president Zodinpuia said.

The MSU also urged the Election Commission of Indis (ECI) not to allow the Brus residing outside Mizoram to cast their votes in Mizoram.

Earlier, on January 23, MSU had re-submitted a petition to Chief Election Commissioner, VS Sampath, asking him to take immediate step to disallow Bru voters who continue to live outside Mizoram to cast their votes in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in Mizoram. It is worth mentioning here that the relationship between the Mizos and the Brus has not been going well in the past 15 years.

Hundreds of Brus had left Mizoram in 1997 and in 2009. The first case was triggered when Bru militants murdered two Mizos who were forest guards on October 21, 1997. The second case happened after a 17-year-old Mizo boy was killed by the Brus near Bungthuam village on November 13, 2009. When the Brus left Mizoram they had driven out some Mizos in villages of Sakhan Hill Range in Tripura like Sakhan Serhmun, Sakhan Tlangsang, Sakhan Tualsen and Upper Dosda which had kicked up much ruckus in Mizoram then.

Meanwhile, a couple of years ago, head count conducted by the MBDPF found that there had been 31,703 Brus in the relief camps belonging to 5,448 families who were bona fide residents of Mizoram. The repatriation of the 1997 batch of Bru refugees was underway until it stalled by the November 13 killing.

In the year 2011, conglomeration of major NGOs in Mizoram had submitted a joint memorandum to the then Union Home minister P Chidambaram to rehabilitate displaced Mizos in Tripura and stall the ongoing repatriation of Brus from Tripura to Mizoram. The memorandum was signed by representatives of four large NGOs in the state--the Young Mizo Association (YMA), the MZP, the Mizoram Upa Pawl (MUP) or elders association and the Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP) or the women's federation and four political parties.

The memorandum had mentioned that more than 80 Mizo families displaced from Tripura's Sakhan Hill range in 1998, after being threatened by Bru militants, should be adequately rehabilitated by the Centre, otherwise, the repatriation of Bru refugees from Tripura relief camps should not be allowed.


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