Amid growing demand for his ouster, Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S B Shashank Monday said he had "no intention to hurt the sentiments" of the state's civil societies and apologised for rankling them in any way.
Coordination Committee, an umbrella body of major civil societies and student organisations, had sought Shashank's exit from the state, shortly after the Election Commission (EC) removed a principal secretary-level state officer Lalnunmawia Chuaungo.
Election to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly is scheduled to be held on November 28.
"As the state chief electoral officer, it is my responsibility that I fulfil the mandate of the EC. I can only hope that the civil societies will understand my position. I am sorry if I have hurt anybody," he said.
On his fallout with Chuaungo, the CEO said that he had issued a statement to the District Election Officers (DEO) and Electoral Registration Officers (ERO) on September 11 to notify that "identification slips could be used as valid documents by eligible Bru migrants in Tripura".
Chuaungo, however, issued another order on September 13, asking the Bru refugees to not use the identification slips, except for the purpose of repatriation, he said.
Chuaungo, a 1987-batch Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, has been relieved of his responsibilities in the state.
The EC has instructed him to report before the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi.
Additional security personnel have been deployed at the office and residence of Shashank in view of the threats.
Earlier, too, the civil society organisations had opposed the Election Commission's decision to conduct electoral revision of Bru voters in Tripura's relief camps.
They also urged the EC to defranchise all Bru voters who chose to stay back in Tripura and did not return to Mizoram.
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