Refugees from Myanmar, who took shelter in four villages in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district, are being moved to one relief camp at Hmawngbuchhuah village, district officials said on Saturday. They are being moved to a single place so that they could be given proper attention, food, essential commodities and relief materials, the officials said.
The refugees, now numbering 1,053, including 566 women belonging to 244 families, are refusing to return to their homes in Myanmar, though the Assam Rifles personnel and the Myanmarese Army officials said that Paletwa and nearby villages were safe for the people to return. Earlier, the Myanmarese nationals fled their villages in Myanmar’s Chin state and took shelter in Mizoram’s Laitlang, Zochachhuah, Dumzautlang and Hmawngbuchhuah villages since November 25 last year, an official said.
They fled after the Myanmarese Army launched massive crackdown on the Arakan Army (AA) militants in the area. The refugees do not want to return to Myanmar as they fear that landmines planted along the Mizoram-Myanmar border, where the Myanmar Army and the AA militants clashed for months, could endanger their lives, the official said.
One woman was killed by a concealed landmine and a man was maimed by another landmine blast in January near the Mizoram-Myanmar border in the district.