Mizoram CM seeks CEO's removal

Mizoram CM seeks CEO's removal

Protesters in Aizawl demanding removal of SB Shashank, chief electoral officer, Mizoram, on Tuesday. photo by Puia Chhangte, Aizawl

Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla has moved PMO office seeking removal of SB Shashank, the chief electoral officer of Mizoram amid a "quit Mizoram" notice to the latter and strong protests by influential NGOs in the state.

The NGOs are angry with Shashank after Election Commission of India removed Mizoram principal secretary (home) Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, based his complaint that he had interfered in preparation of electoral rolls of Bru refugees and deployment of central security forces for polls. Sources said the principal secretary had tried to stop an election commission’s decision to allow Bru refugees to cast their votes in relief camps in neighbouring Tripura, where they have been languishing since 1997. Many Brus had fled their villages in Mizoram following an ethnic clash and had taken shelter in Tripura. 

"The action of the CEO is seen by people of Mizoram as an attempt to belittle whatever commendable acts the civil society has done and stood for. With the complete loss of confidence on him by the people of Mizoram, the only solution lies in his removal from his office forthwith for the smooth and peaceful conduct of elections," said the chief minister's letter to Modi on Monday.

Hundreds of protesters staged a protest in Aizawl on Tuesday demanding removal of Shashank.

"Making an excuse of the mandate of Election Commission of India at the slightest opportunity, his complete failure to take his own colleagues into confidence and his style of functioning has led to this impasse," chief minister's letter said.


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