Suspected Rohingya Refugees, Including Women, Boys, Sent To Shelter Homes

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AIZAWL (PTI) – Twelve suspected Rohingya refugees, who were rescued in Mizoram’s Aizawl three days ago allegedly from a human trafficking gang, have been shifted to state-run shelter homes, a senior police officer said.

A group of eight women and four boys was arrested from the house of a local woman in Aizawl on Sunday for living in India without valid travel documents.

The woman, who had hosted the group, told police that she provided them shelter as a favour to her cousin in Tahan, Myanmar.

She also said that it was the fifth time that people took refuge at her home, before being sent to Myanmar.

“While the boys were sent to a home for orphans, the women were moved to another protected shelter home, both maintained by the state social welfare department.

“It seems that all 12 of them were brought to Mizoram from Bangladesh refugee camps,” Deputy Inspector General of Police (Northern Range) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said.

The DIG also stated that the group was probably trafficked to Mizoram through the porous Assam border.

“No one understood the language in which they were speaking, making the interrogation process extremely difficult for us,” Mr Khiangte said, adding that an investigation is underway to arrest the culprits who brought them illegally.

More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine state to neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017, triggering a massive refugee crisis.

Many of them fall prey to trafficking gangs, who lure them with promise of better jobs and livelihood.

Last month, a group of eight Rohingya women were arrested at Vairengte, the Assam-Mizoram border town in Kolasib district. The group did not have Inner Line Permit.

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