In the last 24 hours over 2,000 Myanmar residents entered India through the international border in Mizoram after airstrikes following a severe gunfight in the neighbouring country's Chin state, an officer said on Monday.
James Lalrinchhana, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Champhai district, which shares a border with Myanmar's Chin state, said that a severe gunfight broke out between militia group People's Defence Force (PDF) and Myanmar's ruling junta-backed forces on Sunday evening.
The fighting began after the PDF fired on two military bases at Rihkhawdar and Khawmawi in Chin state near the Indian border, he said, adding that the fight went on till Monday.
Lalrinchhana said, over 2,000 people from Rihkhawdar, Khawmawi and the neighbouring villages in Chin travelled over to India and took shelter in Zokhawthar in the Champhai district due to the abrupt gunfight.
He furthermore said that, in the early hours of Monday, the Myanmar military base at Rihkhawdar was taken over by the militia, and in the afternoon the base at Khawmawi was also taken over by them.
In retaliation, on Monday the Myanmar army set up airstrikes on Rihkhawdar and Khawimawi villages, he said.
Concerning the reports, in this severe gunfight almost 17 people were injured. The ones who got injured were brought to Champhai for treatment.
As per the officials looking into the matter, a 51-year-old civilian from Myanmar who was already living in Zokhawthar died during the gunfight that was happening on the other side of the border.
Local sources said that he was severely hit by a stray bullet from across the border.
Lalmuanpuia, who is the president of Zokhawthar Village Council said that five officials of the Chin National Army (CNA), which was a part of the PDF, were slain in the gunfight.
Lalmuanpuia said that more than 6,000 residents who hail from Myanmar were already living in Zokhawthar before the gunfight started.
Six districts of the state Siaha, Lawngtlai, Champhai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual share a 510-km-long border with Myanmar Chin state.
The first inrush from the neighbouring country came about in February 2021 when the committee seized power. Since then, thousands of residents from Myanmar have become refugees in the northeastern state.
According to the state Home Department, 31,364 Myanmar citizens are presently living in various parts of the state. Most of them are living in relief camps, while others are acclimated by their local relatives and some live in rented houses.
The Myanmar citizens taking shelter in Mizoram are from the Chin community, who share ethnic relations with the Mizos.