Mizoram: Fresh influx of Myanmar residents in state
Refugees from Karen

Aizawl: The torching of a Myanmar village near the Indian border and killing of two abducted siblings from the village by the Myanmar Army recently has triggered a fresh influx from the neighbouring country, a local leader of the Mizoram-Myanmar border village said on Friday.

Zokhawthar village council president Lalmuanpuia said hundreds of people from Myanmar entered Mizoram in the past few days after the Myanmar Army torched Haimual village in Myanmar’s Chin state and abducted five people, including two children of a leader of a civil defence force, from the village on Sunday. 

Haimual village is located about 7 km from Zokhawthar, the first border village in Mizoram’s Champhai district. 

Quoting sources from Haimual, Lalmuanpuia said the Myanmar Army raided the village on Sunday and torched at least 15 houses. 

They had also abducted five people, including Lanunpuii, 17, and her brother Lalruatmawia, 16, he said.

The two teenagers were children of Lalzidinga, a commander of the local People’s Defence Force (PDF), the armed wing of the National Unity Government of Myanmar, comprising the youth and pro-democracy activists, he said.

Lalzidinga managed to escape while his house was raided, he said. 

Lalmuanpuia said the bodies of Lalnunpuii, who was a member of PDF, and her brother were recovered from a jungle on Tuesday, while three other abductees were released by the Myanmar Army.

He said the encounter at Haimual and the recent attack on the Myanmar army camp at the Myanmar-India border village Khawmawi have triggered a fresh influx from the neighbouring country to Zokhawthar and surrounding villages. 

Officials of the state home department could not be contacted to confirm the number of new entrants. 

Thousands of people from Myanmar have fled to Mizoram since February last year when the Myanmar Army took power through a coup.

The Myanmar nationals are taking shelter in different parts of Mizoram and they are being provided food and other relief materials by the state government, NGOs, student bodies, churches and village authorities. 

Many refugees have also supported themselves by renting houses.

Official sources said that around 156 makeshift relief camps have been set up across the state.

Most of the Myanmar nationals are from the Chin state and share ethnicity with the Mizos. The majority of them live in relief camps, while others are accommodated by their local relatives and some others live in rented houses. 

Six Mizoram districts – Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual – share a 510 km long international border with Myanmar’s Chin state. 

Also Read | Mizoram: Six, including 2 Myanmar nationals, arrested on drug charges


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