15 polling stations to be set up for Bru refugees

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  1. Election Commission of India has decided to set up 15 temporary polling stations in Mamit district of Mizoram exclusively for Bru community voters living in relief camps in Tripura.
  2. The Brus,also called Reangs, are scattered across Assam,Mizoram and Tripura.In Mizoram,they inhabit small pockets of Mamit,Lunglei and Lawngtlai districts,but the largest section is in Mamit bordering North Tripura.
  3. Brus are one of the 21 scheduled tribes of the Indian state of Tripura. They speak the Reang dialect of Bru language which is of Tibeto-Burmese origin and is locally referred to as Kau Bru.The Hojagiri folk dance of Reang sub tribe is well known all over the world.The most popular festival of reang tribes is Buisu.
  4. A conflict with the majority Mizos in 1995 made organisations like the MizoZirlai Pawl(students union) demand that the Brus,labelled a non-indigenous tribe,be deleted from Mizoram’s electoral rolls.This led to an armed movement by the Bru National Liberation Front,which had killed a Mizo forest official on October 21,1997.
  5. As a consequence,many Bru villages were burnt down which had led to the displacement of 40,000 bru people.Thousands of Brus fled to North Tripura where they were given shelter in relief camps.
  6. The Centre and the governments of Tripura and Mizoram had taken steps to repatriate the Bru refugees but those efforts had not succeeded.