Mizoram police captured over 40 personnel of Myanmar Army

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Mizoram police captured over 40 personnel of Myanmar Army

AIZAWL: Mizoram police has taken into custody over 40 personnel of the Myanmar Army, after they crossed over to the Indian side.

According to reports, as many as 43 Myanmar Army personnel have been taken into custody by the Mizoram police.

These arrested Myanmar Army personnel were taken into custody by officials of the Zokhawthar police station in Mizoram.

The arrested Myanmar Army personnel had illegally entered into Indian Territory after being chased away by People’s Defence Force (PDF) militia.

It may be mentioned here that the PDF has taken over at least two camps of the Myanmar Army in the neighbouring country located just across the international border from Zokhawthar in Champhai district of Mizoram.

All the 43 Myanmar Army personnel taken into custody by the Mizoram police belong to either of the two camps.

Over 2000 Myanmar nationals have trickled into Mizoram again due to an intense gunfight between the Myanmar army and pro-democracy militias in Chin State along the Indo-Myanmar border, an official said on Monday.

James Lalrinchhana, the deputy commissioner of Champhai district which borders Myanmar’s Chin state said that an intense gunfight occurred between the military junta and People’s Defence Force (PDF), an armed wing of the National Unity Government of Myanmar, since Sunday evening when the PDF attack on two military bases at Khawmawi and Rihkhawdar in Chin state close to the Indian border.

A high alert was sounded by authorities in Mizoram’s Champhai district due to this.

The fighting across the international border continued till Monday, he said.

He said that more than 2,000 people from Khawmawi, Rihkhawdar and neighbouring villages have fled to Zokhawthar in Champhai district due to the gunfight.

Khawmawi is contiguous to Zokhawthar and is located on the other side of the Tiau River, which divides India and Myanmar.

The official said that the Myanmar military base at Rihkhawdar was taken over by the pro-democracy militias in early Monday and the military base at Khawmawi was also taken over by them in the afternoon after an intense gun battle.

In retaliation, the Myanmar army launched airstrikes on Khawimawi and Rihkhawdar villages on Monday, he said.

At least 17 people injured in the gunfight were brought to Champhai for treatment, according to Lalrinchhana.

A 51-year-old civilian from Myanmar, who had taken refuge at Zokhawthar, also died during the gunfight, he said.

The victim was believed to be hit by a bullet.

Meanwhile, Zokhawthar village council president Lalmuanpuia said that 5 cadres of the Chin National Army (CNA), which is part of the PDF, have been reportedly killed in the gunfight.

According to him, more than 6,000 refugees from Myanmar have already taken shelter in Zokhawthar, before the present gunfight.

Six Mizoram districts – Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual- share a 510 km long international border with Myanmar’s Chin state.

The first influx from the neighbouring country occurred in early February 2021 when the Myanmar military junta seized power.

Since then thousands of people from Myanmar have been taking shelter in the northeastern state.

According to the Mizoram home department, altogether 31,364 Myanmar nationals are currently taking shelter in different parts of the state.

The majority of them live in relief camps, while others are accommodated by their local relatives and some others live in rented houses.

The Myanmar nationals taking shelter in Mizoram are from the Chin community, who share ethnic ties with the Mizos.

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