Displaced 26 years ago, 14K Reangs to cast vote in Tripura polls
AGARTALA: A total of 14,005 Reang tribals, displaced from Mizoram 26 years ago following ethnic troubles, will cast their votes for the first time in Tripura on Thursday, officials said on Wednesday.
The 14,005 voters are part of the 37,136 Reang tribals who fled to Tripura in October 1997 and in subsequent years and took shelter in seven relief camps in north Tripura's Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivisions.
Election officials said that the Reang tribals, locally called "Bru", would cast their votes in different polling stations in four districts.
As per the four-partite agreement, signed on January 16, 2020, between the Union Home Ministry, Mizoram and Tripura governments and the Reang tribals, the 37,136 tribals comprising 6,959 families would be settled in Tripura's different districts and 21,703 eligible voters from among the displaced people would be enrolled in the electoral lists of Tripura.
"As the resettlement process is not yet completed, the names of all the 21,703 eligible voters could not be included in the voters' list of Tripura. Those 14,005 enrolled names would be allowed to exercise their franchise," an election official told IANS.
He said that after their settlement, necessary documents are being issued against their names.
The Revenue and Relief department officials requested the Reang tribals to come to their settlement camps at the earliest.
The Reang tribals are being rehabilitated in 12 locations in four of Tripura's eight districts -- North Tripura, Dhalai, Gomati and South Tripura.
"The target for the resettlement of these displaced Reang tribals by August 31 last year could not be achieved due to the numerous land-related issues, forest land clearance, fresh troubles, agitations against the rehabilitation and numerous other issues," a Revenue Department official said.
Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF), an apex body of the displaced tribals, has urged the government to expedite the rehabilitation of the tribals.
The Central government had announced a Rs 600 crore package for the resettlement of the Reang tribals, recognised as a primitive tribe in Tripura.
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