An influential Mizoram youth organisation claimed that one of several bombs dropped by the Myanmar military jets on the camp of a pro-democracy extremist group fell on Indian territory, causing some damage and affecting the lives of border villagers.
The security forces entrusted with manning the 1,643 km India-Myanmar border and monitoring the conflict in the neighbouring country, have rubbished the claim.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Tuipuiral Group of the Young Mizo Association (TGYMA) said Myanmar jets strafed Camp Victoria, the headquarters of the Chin National Front (CNF) at around 3:30 p.m. on January 10.
Five CNF members were reportedly killed in a camp situated close to the Tiau River that marks the boundary between the two countries and close to Farkawn in Mizoram’s Champhai district.
The organisation said panic struck the border villagers after the Myanmar jets bombed the same area again on January 11.
“A bomb not just hit Indian soil but also partly damaged an Indian vehicle which was near the Tiau River. We strongly condemn the military jets disrespectfully flying over the Indian side… several times for the past two months and then dropping bombs on the Indian side,” the TGYMA said.
The organisation asked the Indian government to take proactive action to stop the jets from bombing Indian soil and flying over Indian airspace.
“We are aware of several explosions in Myanmar along the international boundary, but the Indian side has not been affected,” an armed forces officer of Colonel rank said.
Mizoram’s Home Minister Lalchamliana and senior government officials did not take calls but Champhai’s Deputy Commissioner, James Lalrinchhana said a magistrate had been sent to the area concerned to verify the claim. “A report would accordingly be sent to the government,” he said.
Locals have claimed the windshield of a truck used for loading sand from the Tiau River was partially damaged because of the bomb that fell “30 metres inside” Indian territory.
The Chins living in Myanmar’s Chin State along the Mizoram border and the Mizos in India belong to the greater Zo community, as do the Chin-Kuki people settled in Bangladesh.
Some 40,000 Chin people fled their homes in Myanmar and took refuge in Mizoram and adjoining Manipur after a coup by the country’s military in February 2021. More than 300 Chin-Kuki people, persecuted by the Bangladesh armed forces, have also taken shelter in Mizoram since November 2022.