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272 Bangladeshi Refugees Take Shelter in Church and Primary School in Mizoram

First Published: 21st November, 2022 21:09 IST

The refugees, mainly children, women and old people are from Cheihkhiang and 3 other nearby villages in Chittagong Hill Tracts

Around 272 Kuki-Chin refugees who fled from Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh, have taken shelter at a church and a primary school building in Simeinasora village near Mizoram-Bangladesh-Myanmar tri-junction, intelligence sources said.

The refugees, mainly children, women and old people from Cheihkhiang and 3 other nearby villages in CHT left their respective villages on Wednesday and were hiding in the forests before proceeding towards Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district.

They arrived at the border area on Sunday and could not go to Parva village, about 207 km south of Lawngtlai town, as the Border SecurityForce (BSF) personnel deployed in the area, did not allow them to go further.

A resident of Parva, who was among the volunteers providing humanitarian assistance to the refugees, said that men were lodged in the primary school building while women were accommodated in a small church building.

“The church is so small that women folks had to sit the whole Sunday night and could not lie down to sleep,” he said, adding that the women did not sleep a wink.

He said that food and vegetables were collected from the nearby villages and prepared brunch and dinner for the refugees.

Lawngtlai district sources said the government instructed SDO (Civil) of Chawngte sub division to make necessary arrangements for accommodation and food by coordinating with the village leaders.

Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Chawngte and other police personnel also remained in Simeinasora for maintenance of law and order.

Sources among the refugees said that over 2,000 displaced people have been hiding in the forests of CHT and might enter Mizoram to take refuge.

The refugees said that they 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 villagers at gun point.

The AA is the largest Myanmar insurgent group fighting for independence of Rakhine state (Arakan) from Myanmar union since 2009.

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