A joint operation by Mizoram Police and Border Security Forces on Thursday seized a cache of arms and ammunition and arrested five Chakma tribesmen — two of them residents of Bangladesh — near the state’s lone domestic airport.
The arms seizure took place around 9.30 am on Thursday.
The seized arms included five AK-47 assault rifles, 4000 rounds of AK-47 bullets, 1100 rounds of M-16 assault rifle bullets, 10 mobile phones, Rs 60,000 in cash and a vehicle.
The five men arrested in connection with the seizure are Jius Chakma (28), a member of the Chakma armed group JSS and a resident of Rangamati in Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Sumitro Chakma (43), also from Rangamati, and three Chakma tribesmen from Mizoram’s Mamit district identified as Purnojoy Chakma (45), Dipankar Chakma (33) and Bijay Chakma (31).
Armed Chakma groups in Bangladesh who are at odds with one another have increasingly been using Mizoram as an arms-smuggling route to traffic guns and weapons purchased from Myanmar and China, according to intelligence sources.
More than 150 Chakma families had earlier this year fled the conflict and taken shelter in some border villages of Tripura.
This is at least the fourth seizure of arms meant for Bangladesh-based Chakma armed groups in recent years within Mizoram.
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