More than 1,000 people from Arakan in Myanmar have taken refuge in Mizoram's southernmost Lawngtlai district after the Myanmarese Army launched a crackdown on Arakan militants, official sources said.
An official statement said the Mizoram government was providing all possible assistance to the refugees. Makeshift camps were being constructed and food provided to the displaced people who had taken shelter in four villages of Lawngtlai district.
According to the latest figures, 1,157 Myanmarese nationals, including 635 women, had taken shelter in Lawngtlai districts - Zochachhuah, Hmawngbuchhuah, Dumzautlang and Laitlang villages since Saturday last, the statement said. The state health department organised free health clinics at Zochachhuah and Dumzautlang villages, where 11 cases of malaria were detected. Mosquito nets were also distributed to the refugees, it said.
The district administration sent block level officers and village level workers to conduct registration of refugees to streamline distribution of ration as well as sending them back when peace prevails across the border. Lawngtlai district Deputy Commissioner Arun T, accompanied by several officials, yesterday visited the villages and distributed rice, vegetables and a number of silpouline sheets to the refugees. Elaborate security arrangements have been made by the state police. Assam Rifles personnel are deployed in and around the four villages and along the Myanmar border.
Meanwhile, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), apex Mizo student body, demanded that the refugees be given shelter, food and security. They also said that proper registration and records should be maintained in order to send them back after peace was restored in that country.