Mizoram is still housing 419 Myanmarese refugees who were evicted from their homes last year. According to reports these refugees are reluctant to return to their villages saying that they prefer peace to chaos and violence. These refugees are not Rohingyas but have their origins in Mizoram.
About 1,600 Myanmar refugees have been rehabilitated in Lawngtlai district, after they crossed the border to Mizoram onNovember 25after crisis erupted at Paletwa where 11 soldiers of the Myanmar Army were reportedly killed on the Kaladan river after being ambushed by the Arakan Army. The fierce encounter that subsequently followed affected several villages and forced inhabitants to flee.
The refugees were rehabilitated by the Mizoram government at Zochachhuah, Laitlang, Dumzautlang and Hmawngbuchhuah at Lawngtlai district in southern Mizoram
Relief including food and clothes were distributed to refugees by the district administration, Assam Rifles and local organisations such as Young Lai Association (YLA) and Mizoram Thalai Kristian Pawl (MTKP), the youth wing of the Baptist Church of Mizoram.
Sources from Hmawngbuchhuah village said these refugees have opted to stay behind rather than going back to their original homes.
“We prefer peace to chaos and violence, if arrangements can be made, we want to settle here in Mizoram permanently,” the refugees were reported to have told the Village Council President of Hmawngbuchhuah village.
The village still houses 419 refugees in 117 makeshift houses.
Paletwa is located northeast of the Rohingya heartland in Rakhine State of Myanmar where the military has launched a crackdown following a raid on police outposts by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) with the assistance of local villagers onAugust 25.
The subversive activities of the Arakan Army and the areas controlled by them is a cause of concern for India since the multi-crore Kaladan Multi Modal Project is being implemented in the region where the rebel group has been increasing its presence.