Sinlung /
19 June 2013

Displaced Families in Mizoram To Take Refuge in Local Church, Jun 19 : At least 16 families have resolved to seek shelter in the church at Mualkhang village, situated along NH-54 (Aizawl-Silchar road), after their deadline to leave the village ends on June 30.

The Mualkhang villagers ordered these people, some of whom are Myanmarese nationals, living near the village to vacate the area by June 30. The families, some of them Mizos of Myanmar, have nowhere to go if forced to leave the area, said Vanramchhuangi, better known as Ruatfela Nu, a writer and human rights activist.

Vanramchhuangi, who visited the area on Sunday, said, "Earlier, they were ordered to leave the area by the end of May, but the deadline was extended after the pastor of the local Presbyterian Church intervened."

"Some of them are working in farms, while some are working in the cooking gas bottling plant at Mualkhang," she said, adding that the eviction order seemed to have stemmed from the xenophobic attitude of the Young Mizo Association (YMA).

The local priest of the Presbyterian Church, Pastor T Lalthantluanga, said he will do everything to protect the people if they sought shelter inside the church. "They are all Christians and if they seek refuge inside the church, I will do my best to protect them and will be the first to be forcibly pulled out from the church if the villagers decide to evict them from the church," the priest was quoted as saying.

A total of 50 families were residing near Mualkhang village, but the villagers of Mualkhang branded them as illegal settlers and urged them to leave the area.


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