Lok Sabha MP approaches BSF DG on the plight of Bangladesh refugees

Aizawl, 9 Jan (Zoram News): Lok Sabha MP C Lalrosanga on Friday approached Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and BSF Director General SL Thousen on the plight of the Kuki Chin refugees from Bangladesh who are attempting to enter Mizoram.

Lok Sabha MP C Lalrosanga on Friday approached Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and BSF Director General SL Thousen on the plight of the Kuki Chin refugees from Bangladesh who are attempting to enter Mizoram.

He made an appeal to the officials to ask the BSF personnel to deal with such refugees gently. Lalrosanga informed the officials that these refugees are fleeing amidst great difficulty and that they are without any proper food or clothes. He appealed for consideration on humanitarian grounds.

The Home Secretary responded to him saying he is aware of the incidents happening at the border and that they will take future initiatives as necessary.

The BSF DG also responded to the Lok Sabha MP saying the BSF personnel posted at the border have been advised to treat these refugees gently and to be aware of their humanitarian rights. As much as possible, food and medicine are being given to the refugees, he said.

An 85-year-old man, who fled his home in Bangladesh recently, has died of hunger in a jungle near the Mizoram border, a leader said on Thursday.

The deceased identified as Sawmkhupa, a religious leader (pastor), was among 164 Kuki-Chin refugees, who have been pushed back from Simnasora village in south Mizoram's Lawngtlai district recently by personnel of Border Security Force (BSF), Gospel Hmangaizual, refugees organising committee chairman of Parva village said. Gospel, who is also village council president of Parva village, said that the deceased had been campingalong with others in the jungle inBangladesh side near Mizoram border foralmost a week without food. He died earlyWednesday due to hunger, he said. Headded that local NGOs and village leaders are trying to bring his body to Mizoram. Altogether, 328 people from Bangladesh have taken refuge in south Mizoram's Lawngtlai district since November last year, the official said.

The Bangladeshi nationals belong to the ethnic Kuki-Chin minorities from Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and they fled their villages following arm clashes between Bangladesh Army and Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA), the official said. The Bangladeshi nationals have been lodged in various villages in Lawngtlai district, she said.

They are provided with food and other reliefs by NGOs and villagers, she added. KNA is the armed wing of Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF), an ethnic group that demands a separate state comprising the areas occupied by the Kuki-Chin or Mizo community in the CHT. Mizoram shares a 318-km long international border with Bangladesh.

The Kuki-Chin community in Bangladesh share ethnic ties with the Mizos. The state cabinet in November had decided that the state government would provide temporary shelter, food and other basic amenities to the Kuki- Chin refugees.

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