Assam Rifles personnel stationed at an undisclosed location at the southern tip of Mizoram at the international India-Bangladesh-Myanmar tripartite boundary has warned locals to avoid the international border after a local villager from New Basti died of a suspected landmine blast last Friday.
According to the Assam Rifles sources a woman aged around 30 from New Basti village was killed due to a suspected landmine blast near the international border pillar no. 5 at Siaha district in southern Mizoram.
Another suspected IED blast also injured a villager from Bandukbanga in the same area on January 15, the injured is being treated at the Assam Rifles camp, sources said.
“Bomb experts are called in to investigate the blasts and have found that it was an improvised explosive device the military doesn’t use, but commonly used by underground rebels,” Assam Rifles sources said.
Owing to the influx of refugees and international standoff between Bangladesh and Myanmar there have been several incidents in southern Mizoram over the past few weeks. On January 12, a villager from Sabualtlang in Lawngtlai district was shot at by Myanmarese army patrol, it was reported that the Myanmarese army mistook them for rebels and were shot at.
Banati, the victim’s wife told Young Lai Association leaders that her husband was shot twice in the leg. “I cried aloud conveying to the Myanmarese Army that we were not rebels and they stopped shooting, they came over and gave us some medicines, some food items and torch light and left,” Banati was quoted as saying by the Young Lai Association leaders.
There are reports that tensions are mounting at refugee camps in Bangladesh holding hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims over an operation to send them back to Myanmar, from where they have fled following a military crackdown.
Under an agreement signed last week, Myanmar is set to receive Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh at two reception centres and a temporary camp near their common border starting on Tuesday and continuing over the next two years.
Mizoram too, has been harbouring over 1400 Myanmarese refugees since November 25 last year in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district following clash between Arakan militants and the Army there. The refugees have refused to return to their country fearing another crossfire situation in Myanmar.