Amid the conflict of the joint forces of Arakan Army (AA) and Bangladesh Army against the Chin-Kuki National Army (KNA) at Chiahkhiang village, nearly 273 Bangladesh nationals, including 125 women and children from Chin-Kuki-Mizo ethnic tribe of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh entered the Lawngtlai district of Mizoram, in quest of safety.
The KNA (Chin-Kuki National Army) is an armed wing of the Chin-Kuki National Front (KNF) – a political front have been demanding a separate statehood at the CHT of Bangladesh.
These Bangladesh nationals have taken refuge at Simeinasora and Parva villages of Lawmgtlai district, and sources claimed that local populace and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have provided the refugees with adequate food and other requisite amenities.
According to a press release issued by the Zo-Reunification Organization (ZORO), it has been mentioned that 9 civilians from Chiahkhiang village have been abducted by the Arakan Army, mentioning that these kidnapped individuals are handed over to the Bangladesh Army.
Furthermore, the organization appealed the state administration, as well as NGOs to intervene and provide shelter to the Bangladesh nationals once they enter into Mizoram.
The Vice President of ZORO – Lamuanpuia Punte, shared “As the Bangladesh Army is unable to control the KNA, they have forced the Arakan Army, who are seeking refuge in the CHT, to cooperate with the Bangladesh Army in fighting the KNA. Arakan Army would be pushed out of CHT unless they co-operate with the Bangladesh Army in fighting the KNA.”
“Without having other choices, the Arakan Army has attacked the KNA. After massive exchange of fire, the Arakan Army was defeated by the KNA and many Arakan Army cadres were killed and injured by the KNA, and their weapons seized,” he mentioned.
Without having other choices, the Arakan Army has attacked the KNA. After massive exchange of fire, the Arakan Army was defeated by the KNA and many Arakan Army cadres were killed and injured by the KNA, and their weapons seized.
He noted that around 2000 Bangladesh nationals plans to enter Mizoram, but are stuck at the border.
Lalmuanpuia made a clarion call to the Indian Government, urging it to provide shelter and asylum to these Bangladeshi nationals who are in critical need of it for their protection.
It is worth noting that ZORO is an organization fighting for the reunion of the Chin, Kuki, and Mizo tribes of Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar.
The Mizo Students Union (MSU) has also released a statement denouncing the Border Security Force (BSF), who are manning the Indo-Bangladesh Border, for preventing Bangladesh nationals, especially – children and senior citizens from entering Mizoram for their safety.
They appealed that no paramilitary forces should prohibit these Bangladeshi nationals from entering Mizoram, and demanded that the state administration to oversee their safety.
Samuel Zoramthanpuia, President of MSU stated “Despite being geographically divided by political borders, the diverse Mizo, Kuki, and Chin populations in India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar belong to the same ethnicity. As such, we are prepared to accept our relatives from Bangladesh who seek refuge in Mizoram.”
The Mizo Students Union (MSU) denounced how the BSF treated these citizens of Bangladesh and demanded—in a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)—that the Assam Rifles be assigned to guard all international borders.