Aizawl: Amid debate on the alleged bombing inside the Indian territory by Myanmar Army during recent aerial strikes on an insurgent camp close to the Indian border, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Ministry of Defence to take appropriate action on the matter. 

Taking cognizance of a complaint filed by an Odisha-based human rights activist Akhand, the apex human rights panel has directed the Union Defence Ministry Secretary to take appropriate action within 8 weeks.

“This complaint be transmitted to the concerned authority for such action as deemed appropriate. The authority concerned is directed to take appropriate action within 8 weeks associating the complainant/victim and to inform him/her of the action taken in the matter,” the notice said.

Mr. Akhand had recently filed a petition with the human rights panel alleging that the Myanmar Army had dropped a shell in Farkawn village in east Mizoram’s Champhai district during an aerial strike targeting a key rebel training camp near the Myanmar-India border. 

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The complaint filed in respect of residents of Farkawn village in east Mizoram’s Champhai district was placed before the human rights panel on Monday. 

The activist in the petition stated that residents of Farkawn village said that a bomb had landed there on January 10 afternoon, when the Myanmar military carried out strikes on Camp Victoria, the headquarters of the rebel Chin National Army, right across the Tiau river that divides the two countries. 

“During the airstrike, one bomb was dropped at the bank of Tiau river on the Indian side. A private truck’s windshield was broken from the impact of the bomb. The owner of the truck has confirmed this to the media. People are scared and endangered after this incident,” the petition said.

The activist urged the Centre to enquire the matter and take necessary action to safeguard the sovereignty of India. 

“Violation of airspace and bombing of Indian territory by the Myanmar air force is a serious violation of human rights of our countrymen,” the petition said.

The petition further alleged that the Centre and the Mizoram government are tight-lipped on the issue.

The Myanmar Army had dropped bombs targetting Camp Victoria, the military headquarters of Chin National Army (CNA), one of the powerful insurgent groups in the neighbouring country, on January 10 and 11. Five CNA cadres, including two women, were killed and 15 others injured in the airstrike on the militants camp, which is  located close to the India-Myanmar border.

Meanwhile, Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana said that no bomb fell on the Indian side as per the finding of officials. He said that the Champhai district administration conducted a verification as per which bombs did not fall on Mizoram’s side. 

A report submitted to the state home department by Champhai deputy commissioner James Lalrinchhana on January 13 stated that the CNA camp, located about 10 km from Farkawn village, was attacked by jet fighters on January 10 and 11. At least five bombs were dropped in the first airstrike and three during the second attack, the report said.

“During the first air attack, one of the bombs or its shrapnel landed on Tiau river, which is the international boundary of the two countries,” the report also said.

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A truck parked at the vicinity was partially damaged, it said. 

No damage was caused during the second aerial strike, it added.

Recently, NGO Co-ordination Committee, a conglomerate of major civil society organisations and student bodies headed by Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA) had submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the matter and sought the Centre’s intervention to protect the country’s territory and rights of the citizens.

MC Lalramenga, president of Tuipuiral group of YMA in Champhai district, alleged that two bombs were dropped on Indian territory during the tieng air strikes. While one bomb was dropped in the first attack and the other in the second attack, he said.

He said that one bomb fell on Mizoram’s territory  about  113 km from Ṭiau river and the other bomb dropped 25 km from the river of Mizoram’s side. 

He further alleged that the Myanmar combat jets also flew over Khawbung village, which located about 37 km from the international border.

“Although the official report did not indicate dropping of any bomb on the Mizoram’s side. We are confident that two bombs fall on our territory. We urge the authority to conduct spot verification,” the leader said. 

Lalramenga also said that the economic activities of the people living along the international border has been affected as village authorities have prohibited them from venturing out in their fields, jhum lands and rivers since the aerial bombings as a precautionary measure.

More than 200 refugees from the neighbouring country have fled to Mizoram since the attacks.

Six Mizoram district share a 510-km long porous border with Myanmar. The state is currently hosting more than 30,500 refugees from Myanmar’s Chin state.

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