The army’s Assam Rifles met with village chiefs and leaders of a civil society group in settlements in Mizoram near the border with Myanmar and discussed the situation in the neighbouring country, where the military junta is fighting insurgents of the People’s Defence Force (PDF).
Intelligence sources said the fresh fighting has triggered another rush of Chin-Kuki refugees from Myanmar to India via Mizoram, where the assembly election was held on November 7. Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has welcomed over 32,000 refugees from Myanmar in recent years citing familial and kinship ties.
The Assam Rifles officers met the village chiefs and representatives of the civil society group Young Mizo Association in eastern Mizoram’s Champhai district.
The gunfights between the junta’s army and the PDF, the armed wing of Myanmar’s National Unity Government, has led to hundreds of refugees fleeing to border villages in Mizoram, sources said.
Over 100 families from Myanmar have taken shelter in Zokhawthar village in Mizoram’s Champhai district, according to media reports quoting the villagers.
Zokhawthar village has received over 6,000 Myanmar refugees since February 2021.
Some 32,000 men, women and children from Myanmar have taken shelter in many districts of Mizoram after the Myanmar army took over the country again in a coup in February 2021.
Six districts in Mizoram — Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual – share a 510-km-long unfenced international border with Myanmar’s Chin State. The Assam Rifles guards the India-Myanmar border.
Mizoram’s neighbour Manipur has seen intense ethnic clashes between the hill-majority Chin-Kuki tribes and the valley-majority Meiteis over the issue of shrinking land, resources and political power amid a sharp rise in the number of refugees and illegal immigrants entering the state.