Photo: Relief camp for Bangladesh refugees at Hmawngbuchhuah in Lawngtlai district, Mizoram
Aizawl: Armed militants have reportedly infiltrated Mizoram under the guise of refugees, raising concerns about the peaceful atmosphere that Mizoram has enjoyed for the past three decades.
The Lawngtlai-based Young Lai Association (YLA) issued a press release on Wednesday, shedding light on this alarming situation.
According to the YLA, armed militants have managed to enter Mizoram among the refugees from the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, seeking shelter in the Lawngtlai district bordering Bangladesh. The association claims that these militants are involved in weapon smuggling and have been conducting arms training within Mizoram’s territory. This claim was substantiated by the recent explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) near Chamdur ‘P’ village in the Lawngtlai district on June 26.
As the largest civil society organisation in the district, the YLA has appealed to the armed militants to leave Mizoram immediately. They have also stressed that no armed personnel should attempt to enter the district under the guise of refugees in the future.
While expressing solidarity with the genuine refugees fleeing government crackdowns in both Myanmar and Bangladesh, the civil society emphasised that armed militants pose a severe threat to peace and tranquility in the district and the state as a whole.
The YLA has urged all refugees not to engage in arms smuggling and drug trafficking, emphasising that such activities will not be tolerated by the people of Mizoram. The association has made it clear that appropriate actions will be taken against individuals involved in these illegal practices.
While the YLA extends a warm welcome to the Bawm tribal community from Bangladesh, who are facing persecution in their home country, they explicitly state that armed militants will not be tolerated.
Meanwhile, the Assam Rifles, in collaboration with the Bungtlang police in Lawngtlai district, announced the arrest of three individuals on Tuesday (July 4). These individuals, whose nationalities and identities were not disclosed, had crossed over from Myanmar with an attempt to smuggle weapons into Bangladesh. This development underscores the vulnerability of the region, as Lawngtlai district shares borders with both Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Presently, Mizoram is providing refuge to thousands of displaced persons from Myanmar and Bangladesh, as well as internally displaced individuals from Manipur. The alleged infiltration of armed militants has raised concerns among authorities and local communities regarding the security and peaceful coexistence within the state.