Refugees crisis in Tripura
Agartala: Young Mizo Association (YMA), the powerful youth organization of Mizoram, is intensifying their agitation for removal of the names of the Reang refugees from Mizoram’s voters’ list. These refugees who have been residing in Tripura for more than two decades have refused to return to their homeland, Mizoram.
A central committee meeting of the YMA at Aizwal on Saturday last has resolved unanimously to drop all the names from the voters’ list of Mizoram as they are unwilling to return to Mizoram despite repeated appeals since 1997.
YMA president, Vanlalruata in a press conference at Aizwal said they want removal of these names from the voters’ list of Mizoram before the coming Lok Sabha election. They also resolved to submit a memorandum in this regard to the Governor of Mizoram as well as to the Chief Election Commissioner through the Chief Electoral Officer of the State.
Over thirty thousands of Reangs crossed over to Tripura from Mamith district of Mizoram in 1997 following communal clashes with the local Mizo’s. They were given shelter in six camps in North Tripura districts and the Central Government is providing for their well-being. According to officials of the Tripura Relief and Revenue Department, over Rs 370 crore has been spent on relief packages to the refugees.
Since then, the Central Government and the governments of Mizoram and Tripura took a series of initiative to repatriate them to their ancestral home but every attempt failed as the refugees refused to go back.
The last attempt to repatriate them was taken in September last year, when an agreement was signed between the Union Home Ministry and the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples’ Forum and a fresh rehabilitation package was declared. But only 47 out of a total of 5,407 families agreed to return to Mizoram.
Around 12,018 voters from among the over 35,000 Reang tribal immigrants were enrolled in the electoral list of Mizoram till last year and 60 per cent of them have cast votes in the November 28 Mizoram Assembly polls last year.
According to the tribal leaders, over 6,000 more people are now eligible for enrolment in as first-time voters.
The Mizoram Election Department officials said eligible candidates with proper residential proof of the Mizoram government would certainly have their names included in the voters’ list.
Also read: Tripura News