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Bru voters' issue triggers transfer of an IAS officer in Mizoram

By IndianMandarins- 04 Nov 2018


Following a complaint from the Chief Electoral Officer of Mizoram, the Election Commission last Friday transferred out Lalnunmawia Chuaungo (IAS:1987:GJ), Principal Secretary (Home) for "interfering with the electoral process".


The commission appointed Lalriliana Fanai (IAS:1997) as the Home Secretary in place of Principal Secretary. Mizoram will go to polls on November 28.


Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, a Gujarat cadre 1987 batch IAS, was posted in Mizoram on deputation. His services now have been put under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The EC has ordered that Chuanugo would not be assigned any work relating to Mizoram or deputed to Mizoram until the election process was over on December 13.


Reacting to the CEO’s complaint and the ouster of Chuaungmao, an influential NGO served an ultimatum to the CEO to leave the state by November 05. Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla too dismissed CEO SB Shashank’s complaint and stood by Chuaungo.


Chuaungo had questioned the CEO on the quantum of deployment of security forces and objected to making special arrangements for Bru refugees to vote in the camps in neighboring Tripura where they have been living for 21 years since they fled their homeland in Mizoram following ethnic clashes. They are registered as voters in Mizoram and in the past, they have been voting through postal ballots from their camps in Tripura.


The CM said that "the CEO’s complaint is a stark lie. The Bru people have lived in Tripura for long and they should return to Mizoram where they are enlisted as voters to cast their votes. Giving them special permission to vote from their camps in another state is totally unethical. Chuaungo, PS (Home), is a Mizo man and like all other Mizos, he also thought in the same way that the Brus should come to Mizoram to cast their votes in person."


It may be underlined that in 2014, the Election Commission of India had given an order that arrangements should be made to facilitate all the Bru voters of Mizoram living in Tripura relief camps to exercise their franchise within Mizoram.


The EC at present is exploring three alternatives for the Bru voters in Tripura—allowing them to vote in Mizoram villages from where they registered as voters, voting in the designated polling stations on the inter-state border, and voting in Tripura camps through postal ballots.

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