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Hmar refugees take shelter in Mizoram's Kolasib district

Friday, October 21, 2011

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
[caption id="attachment_5102" align="alignleft" width="187" caption="Representative image"][/caption]

Aizawl: About 200 Hmar refugees from Dima Hasao district have taken shelter in Mizoram's Kolasib district along the Assam border. Police said 176 Hmar refugees, belonging to 44 families from the district, fled following ethnic clashes between Dimasas and other tribes since Sunday.

The Hmar refugees came to Bairabi, the only railway link in Mizoram, where 132 refugees have taken shelter at the homes of their relatives. Police said while 18 refugees stayed at Phainuam village, 16 others took shelter at their relatives' homes in Saihapui and Saipum villages.

"The refugees started arriving from Monday," an official said. Many refugees belonging to Hmar, Kuki and other ethnic communities have fled Assam's hill districts and took shelter in Mizoram earlier due to threats of Dimasa insurgent groups and other militants. Some of them stayed back at Vairengte and Phainuam areas, bordering Cachar in Assam.

Violence broke out in the district on Sunday as suspected tribal militants torched 19 houses of Dimasas and sprayed bullets targeting fleeing villagers, killing one person and injuring three others.

"The miscreants involved in the incidents are from outside the Dima Hasao area. They have infiltrated from neighbouring states or districts to vitiate the situation here. The area has been peaceful so far after the surrender of major militant groups over the years", said a police officer.

~The Times of India (TNN)
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