Aizawl, November 17 (IANS) A total of 29 more Myanmar soldiers, including a major and a captain fled to Mizoram after their camp in the neighbouring country was captured by anti-military insurgents, top police officials said on Friday.
With the 29 newcomers, a total of 74 Myanmar military personnel had fled to Mizoram since Monday, following the escalating gun battle between the Army and the People's Defence Force (PDF).
Most of the Myanmarese soldiers, however, had been sent back to Myanmar.
Mizoram’s Inspector General of Police, Headquarters, Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said that on Thursday evening, 29 more Myanmar Army soldiers, including the two officers, fled to Mizoram’s Champhai district and approached the police.
"We have handed over them to the Assam Rifles. They are now under the custody of the para-military force," Khiangte told IANS over phone, adding that the Assam Rifles after consulting with their higher authorities would take suitable steps.
The Myanmar soldiers, fleeing from their camp at Tuibual in Chin state, a few kilometres from the international border, crossed the Tiau river to enter Mizoram on Thursday evening and sought shelter in Indian territory.
Tiau river serves the boundary between India and Myanmar.
Since Monday (November 13) 45 soldiers, including officers, had fled to Mizoram after the PDF took control of two military bases in Myanmar’s Chin state and they were handed over to Myanmar's military government the next day.
Besides soldiers, around 1,400 Myanmarese, including women and children, took shelter in Mizoram’s Champhai earlier this week following the gunfight between the Army and PDF cadres.
"The district administration has provided food and relief materials to the refugees. Necessary medical aid was also given to those hapless evacuees," Hruaimawia told IANS over phone from Champhai. The first influx from Myanmar happened in February 2021 after the Military junta seized power.
Since then, 32,000 people including women and children from Myanmar have taken shelter in the northeastern state. A majority of the refugees live in relief camps and government buildings, while many others are accommodated by their relatives and a large number of Myanmarese have been staying in rented houses.
Eastern Mizoram’s six districts -- Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual -- share a 510-km-long unfenced and mountainous border with Myanmar's Chin state. The Assam Rifles, which guarding the unfenced 1,643-km India-Myanmar border has stepped up its vigil along the frontier.