338 Myanmar national refugees repatriate to their home town

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A report said that as many as 338 Myanmar nationals, mostly women and children, have been repatriated after they crossed over to the Indian side in Mizoram northeast state of India last week, following alleged atrocities by a Myanmar-based insurgent group.

The refugees from Ralei village had arrived in Lungpuk and Khaiky villages of southern Mizoram’s Saiha district on May 19, said Mizoram daily newspaper.

A release issued by Guwahati-based Defence PRO Lt Col Suneet Newton said, ‘the refugees had crossed over to escape atrocities from Myanmar-based insurgent group Arakan Army. It added that the Assam Rifles organized the repatriation exercise on 24 May’.

“The villagers, who came from Myanmar to receive refugees…confided that the Arakan Army insurgents had moved away to an undisclosed location towards Myanmar side and the village was now completely safe for the refugees to return,” the release said.

The people from Ralie village fled Myanmar due to reported impending confrontation between the Arakan Army (AA) militants and the Myanmar Army, the official said adding that the Assam Rifles officials had informed the Myanmar army officials and appealed to the latter to ensure safety of the refugees in Myanmar.

To ensure safety of the refugees they were all escorted by the Assam Rifles troops up to International Boundary Pillar No 15. Lunglei Battalion, Mizoram handed over all the refugees to the VCP of Ralei village of Myanmar. The VCP of Ralei village Mr Chebei conveyed his gratitude to the VCP of Lungpuk Mr Rachu, Assam Rifles, District Commissioner of Saiha, SP Saiha and MADC for all the support and assistance provided to their villagers at the time of crisis.

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