Mizoram: More Kuki-Chin refugees arrive from Bangladesh
Representational image Credit: EastMojo image

Aizawl: At least 21 more people from Bangladesh have fled to Mizoram, five days after the first batch numbering 273 entered the state on November 20, a local leader familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

The new batch from Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) entered a border village on Friday night and was transported to Parva village the same night by the Border Security Force (BSF), a refugee organising committe chairman Gospel Hmangaihzuala said.

The organising committee was formed recently by village authorities and NGOs at Parva village in Lawngtlai district to deal with the Kuki-Chin refugees, who have taken shelter in Mizoram after fleeing their homes in CHT.

He said 294 people of Mizo tribes from Bangladesh’s CHT are currently taking shelter at Parva. The refugees are lodged at a school, a community hall, an Anganwadi centre and a sub-centre at Parva, he said.

Gospel, who is also Parva village council president, said the Kuki-Chin refugees are now provided with food, clothing, and other reliefs by the NGOs.

The Kuki-Chin people, who share ethnic ties with the Mizos, fled their homes following arm conflicts between the Bangladesh army and an ethnic insurgent group Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA).

On Tuesday, the Mizoram cabinet had expressed sympathy to the Kuki-Chin refugees and decided to provide temporary shelters, food and other basic amenities to them.

Central Young Mizoram Association (CYMA), the largest civil society organisation in the state, has also decided to provide humanitarian aid to the ethnic Mizo refugees.

Mizoram shares a 318-km stretch of international border with Bangladesh.
The Indo-Bangladesh is being guarded by the BSF.

Earlier, a Mizoram-based Zo Re-Unification Organisation (ZORO) had blamed the alleged attack on civilians.

The Mizo group, which is fighting for the re-unification of all ethnic Mizo or Zo tribes, had alleged that the Bangladesh army had recently aligned with a Myanmar-based insurgent group Arakan Army (AA) to launch a joint operation against KNA.

It also alleged that the AA abducted nine civilians after an encounter with KNA on November 16.

KNA, which is the armed wing of the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF), has been demanding a separate state for the Kuki-Chin people in Bangladesh.

A KNF leader also alleged five civilians, including a 17-year-old girl, were also abducted by the Bangladesh army apart from those nine kidnapped by the AA.

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