About 300 Kuki Chin tribals from Bangladesh enter Mizoram
Our Spl Correspondent
NEW DELHI/AIZAWL, NOVEMBER 21: Following indiscriminate actions and an alleged ‘secret pact’ to target them, about 300 Kuki-Chin ‘refugees’ have crossed Mizoram-Bangladesh border and taken shelter in a far-flung village in Mizoram.
The Kuki-Chin ‘intruders’ who fled Chittagong Hill Tracts were lodged at a church and a primary school building in Simeinasora village near Mizoram-Bangladesh-Myanmar tri-junction, sources in the Mizoram Home Department said on Monday.
The ‘refugees/intruders’ mainly children, women and elderly people from Cheihkhiang and 3 other nearby villages in CHT left their respective villages on Wednesday and were reportedly hiding in the forests before proceeding towards Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district.
They arrived at the border area on Sunday, November 20, but could not go to Parva village, about 207 km south of Lawngtlai town, as Central forces deployed in the area did not allow them to go further.
Sources said men ‘intruders’ have been lodged in the primary school building while women were accommodated in a small church building. Food and vegetables collected from nearby villages were given to the refugees by volunteers in the village and nearby areas.
Meanwhile, Lawngtlai district Deputy Commissioner Amal Srivastava instructed SDO (Civil) of
Chawngte Sub-Division to make necessary arrangements for accommodation and food by coordinating with the village leaders, sources said.
The people of the Kuki-Chin community fled their villages after a combined force of Bangladesh army’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the Arakan Army (AA) underground militants launched a ‘joint operation’ on Wednesday and the AA cadres abducted 9 Kuki Chin villagers at gunpoint.
The Arakan Army is the largest Myanmar insurgent group fighting for independence of Rakhine state (Arakan) from the Myanmar union since 2009.
There are apprehensions that more than 2,000 people were being “displaced due to the attacks” and might cross the Mizoram-Bangladesh border soon.
An organisation of the ethnic Kuki Chin people, ZoRO, has alleged that the Bangladesh army’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) reached a ‘secret agreement’ with the AA to launch joint operations against the Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA).
The KNA and its political wing Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) was formed by ethnic Kuki-Chin-Mizo communities demanding a separate state for the safeguard of the communities in Bangladesh.
A statement issued by the information chief of the KNF Solomon and head of the KNF media wing Pabik Kuki said that the secret agreement was inked by the RAB, DGFI, Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) and the AA top officials at Tamra in the Bangladesh-Myanmar border on November 14.
The Kuki Chin leaders claim that among others, the AA and the Bangladesh army would jointly conduct operations against the KNF/KNA while the AA would be allowed to use Bangladesh territory until the Rakhine State becomes independent from Naypyidaw.
In 2021, Mizoram hosted a large number of intruders from Myanmar after the military coup in that country.
Under law, the State Governments in the Northeast region cannot declare any such group of ‘intruders’ as ‘refugees’ officially.
Of course on humanitarian grounds, they are provided shelter and food.
Children of Myanmar ‘intruders’ were also provided with facilities to join schools.