Aizawl: Altogether 29 Myanmar army personnel from Chin state, who have crossed over to India, remain stranded at the Assam Rifles camp in Mizoram’s Vaphai village in Champhai district due to inclement weather, officials said on Friday.
The officials said while arrangements were made to airlift the 29 Myanmar soldiers from Vaphai village by Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters, incessant rain in Mizoram made it impossible to evacuate the soldiers.
“They will be evacuated by helicopter when the weather condition permits airlift by helicopters,” one official said.
Earlier, 42 Myanmar soldiers fled to Mizoram after the combined force of the Kachin Independent Army (KIA), Chin National Army (CNA) and Chin Defence Force (CDF) on Monday captured two military camps at Rihkhawdar and Khawmawi near Mizoram’s Zokhawthar. The soldiers were flown to Moreh in Manipur on Tuesday.
The 29 Myanmar soldiers fled to Mizoram at around 4 AM (IST) on Wednesday after their camp at Tuibual was captured by the Chin National Defence Force (CNDF) a local armed militia. CNDF is an armed wing of the Chin National Organisation (CNO), a pro-democratic civil resistance group operating in some parts of Myanmar’s Chin state adjoining Mizoram.
The soldiers, after losing their way in the thick jungle, finally reached Saikhumphai hamlet in Champhai district situated on the banks of the Mizoram-Myanmar border river Tiau on Thursday afternoon. There they were received by the state police officials, Assam Rifles personnel and local leaders of Vaphai.
The Myanmar army personnel were relieved of all their weapons by the Assam Rifles personnel led by a major, stationed at nearby Farkawn village and are now in the custody of the paramilitary force.
After the fall of the Tuibual Myanmar army camp, there are no Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) camp along the Myanmar-Mizoram border areas in Chin state adjoining Mizoram, CNO general secretary Thawng Thawng said.