: The Mizoram police on March 25 recovered charred bodies of the three residents of the State’s Siaha district, who went missing since March 19, from Myanmar.
The three, including a woman, had gone missing after setting out for Myanmar from Ainak, a border village in southern Mizoram’s Siaha district, on March 19.
Also read: Myanmar’s civil war gets too close to India’s border for comfort
People on either side of the 1,643-km India-Myanmar border can move freely within a 32-km band – 16 km on either side of the line dividing the two countries – despite certain restrictions owing to the civil war in Myanmar. Mizoram shares a 510 km border with Myanmar.
“The charred bodies of the three person, apparently held hostage by miscreants across the border, were recovered from a jungle,” Mizoram’s Inspector-General of Police (Law and Order), Lalbiakthanga Khiangte told The Hindu on March 25.
He did not clarify if the Indian authorities went to Mizoram to recover the three bodies or Myanmar locals helped to deliver them on the international border.
Extremist group behind killings?
Local police officials said the three Ainak villagers could have been killed for failing to return money owed to arms smugglers, formerly with an extremist group active on either side of the border.
The villagers claimed they had returned the money but the miscreants wanted to extract more from them.
The Mara Thyutlia Pi, an apex women’s body of the Mara community in Siaha, condemned the killing of the three villagers. It demanded bringing the killers to book.
Some 40,000 Myanmar nationals, mostly belonging to the Chin community ethnically related to the Mizos of Mizoram, have taken refuge in Mizoram since a military coup in that country in February 2021. The refugees continue to trickle in due to the ongoing civil war between the armed forces and pro-democracy groups continues.