62 Kuki Chin refugees enter Mizoram from B’desh in 1 week
First Published: 8th January, 2023 11:33 IST
An 80-year old Pastor died allegedly of starvation as he and few others were denied entry. Over 372 Kuki Chin refugees have taken shelter in Mizoram since November 2022
The influx of Kuki Chin into Mizoram continues unabated. As many as 62 Kuki Chin refugees have entered Lawngtlai district of Mizoram from Bangladesh in just the first week of 2023. As per reports, 45 refugees entered Parva-III village on Thursday, taking the total number of refugees from Bangladesh in Mizoram to 62 till now in 2023.
As per official data, the first batch of refugees from Chittagong in Bangladesh, numbering 274 arrived in Mizoram on November 20, 2022 after the combined forces of Bangladesh army and Myanmarese rebel outfit Arakan Army (AA) attacked civilians on November 16.
The Bangladesh army and the Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA) have intensified confrontation in the Chittagong during the past few months.
The Kuki-National Army (KNA), a militant organisation of the ethnic Mizos known as the Kuki-Chin community, have been demanding a separate homeland for the community in the CHT.
Meanwhile, in an unfortunate incident, Pastor Chhawnkhup (80) of the evangelical Baptist church of Bangladesh is said to have died on Wednesday allegedly of starvation in a forest in the CHT after he and other asylum seekers were not allowed by the BSF to enter south Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district and take shelter.
Central committee of the Young Mizo Association (YMA), apex body of the Mizos, called for a sit-in demonstration outside the Raj Bhavan in protest against the death of the pastor as well as denial of entry of refugees from Bangladesh by the BSF personnel.
Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members from the state have urged the centre to instruct the BSF to allow the displaced ‘ethnic Mizos’ to enter the state on humanitarian ground.
Rajya Sabha MP from Mizoram, K Vanlalvena had written letters to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to instruct the BSF to allow the crossing over of the refugees to safety in Mizoram. The MP had accused the BSF of being discriminatory by disallowing ethnic Christian Mizos to take shelter in the state while the centre not only agreed to the entry of thousands of Buddhist Chakmas but also settled them in Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh in the 1970s.
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