Mizoram civil society calls for Lok Sabha elections boycott
An umbrella organisation of major civil societies and student associations in Mizoram have decided to boycott the April 11 election to the lone Mizoram Lok Sabha seat and organise a state-wide indefinite bandh from April 8, sources in it said Monday.
The NGO Coordination Committee said that a decision was taken earlier to boycott the Parliamentary polls if special polling booths are established at Mizoram-Tripura border Kanhmun village.
“The NGOCC opposed the establishment of special polling stations at Kanhmun by the election department and the state government officials,” a statement issued by the committee and signed by NGOCC Secretary Lalhmachhuana said.
The EC is setting up 15 exclusive polling booths in the village for Bru refugees from Mizoram who are housed in six camps in neighbouring Tripura. The step had been taken in the November 2018 Mizoram assembly polls too.
Appeals would again be made to the authorities to ensure that Bru voters housed in the relief camps in North Tripura district should exercise franchise in their respective villages where they were enrolled as voters and indefinite bandh be organised from April eight to pressurise the authorities, the statement said.
The NGOCC appealed to all the commercial and private vehicle owners requisitioned for transportation of central armed police force (CAPC) and state police personnel as also for use by polling officials not to allow their vehicles for the election purposes.
The Bru community in the Tripura relief camps have refused to return to Mizoram for years despite several repatriation efforts.
In 2014 the NGOCC had boycotted the Lok Sabha polls on the same issue and the EC had then succumbed to the demands of the civil societies saying that the Bru voters would cast their votes only inside Mizoram and not in their relief camps.
The agitation was then called off.
The 15 polling stations are being set up at Kanhmun village so that 11,941 Bru voters in the six relief camps can exercise their franchise, EC sources said.
Bru leaders have sought to casting their votes in the relief camps.