Mizoram cabinet nod for shelter, food to Kuki-Chin-Mizo refugees from B'desh
Aizawl, Nov 22 (PTI) The Mizoram cabinet on Tuesday resolved to give shelter and food to all Kuki-Chin-Mizo refugees, who have been forced to flee Bangladesh and the enter the northeastern state in the wake of an armed conflict between that neighbouring country's army and an ethnic insurgent group.
Home Minister Lalchamliana said the cabinet members, during the meeting chaired by Chief Minister Zoramthanga, expressed their sympathy for the refugees.
"The members approved a proposal to provide them temporary shelter, food and other relief as per convenience of the state government," he added.
A senior official said authorities, following a headcount exercise, have found out that at least 272 people from Bangladesh's Chittagong Hills Tracts (CHT) had on Sunday entered Mizoram, which is already burdened with 30,000 refugees from coup-hit Myanmar.
Of them, some are children who have moved to the state without parents, he told PTI.
"The Bangladeshi nationals are currently lodged at a school building, a community hall and another sub-centre in Parva-3 village in the state’s Lawngtlai district. They were shifted from Simeinasora village near the Mizoram-Bangladesh-Myanmar tri-junction to Parva-3 late on Monday," he said, adding that no fresh influx was reported on Tuesday.
Richies Laltanpuia, a senior member of NGO Young Mizo Association (YMA) in Lawngtlai, said that locals and other civil society organisations in the area are making food arrangements for the Bangladeshi refugees.
Mizoram shares a 318-km-long border with Bangladesh.
A conflict has broken out between Bangladesh Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and an ethnic separatist group Kuki-Chin National Army, the armed wing of Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF), an organisation that represents the Kuki-Chin-Mizo communities in the neighbouring state.
Zo Reunification Organisation (ZORO), a Mizoram-based association fighting for the re-unification of Chin-Kuki-Mizo tribes of India, Myanmar and Bangladesh, had last week held a press meet, claiming that the Bangladesh Army has "entered into a secret pact with Myanmar-based Arakan Army to launch joint operations against KNA", which had long been seeking a separate state for the community. PTI COR RMS RMS