States Round Up Issue-01 July to September 2010 Index Page
Full version of the report

Mizoram



I. Highlight: Refugees have no safe haven, IDPs stranded

Ruled by the Congress party, Mizoram has been increasingly becoming unsafe for the Myanmarese refugees. On 31 August 2010, about 60 Myanmarese refugees were arrested and deported to Myanmar by the Mizoram authorities reportedly under the instructions from the Central Government to appease the Burmese junta. On 28 August 2010, the Mizoram police arrested them for violation of immigration laws and the next day a District Court ordered their deportation to Myanmar. Most of these Myanmarese refugees were working in clothe factories in Aizawl. Amongst those deported included 28 students, two leaders of the Chin National Council and members of the Free Burma Rangers who face risk of prosecution from the military junta in Myanmar. They were handed over to the Myanmarese authorities at the Tio River at Indo-Mynamar border. [1]

Mizoram government failed to resume the repatriation of the Bru Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the relief camps in Tripura during July to September 2010. Over 30,000 Brus had fled to Tripura in 1997 and November 2009.

II. Violations of civil and political rights

During July to September 2010, the ACHR documented two cases of torture by the police in Mizoram.

On 13 July 2010, one Sneha Kumar Chakma, son of Direndra Chakma of Silkur village in Lunglei district was assaulted by a personnel of Mizoram Armed Police (MAP) at Demagiri market place in Lunglei district. The victim had come to sell “dry fish” in the market and was reportedly assaulted when the victim’s wife objected to the MAP personnel who forcibly tried to take away dry fish without paying its price. [2]

In another case, one Laldawngliana was allegedly kept in illegal detention and tortured by the police at the Zawlnuam police station in Mamit district from 23 August to 26 August 2010. On 23 August 2010, the victim Laldawngliana had gone with Lalrinawma, a personnel of Mizoram Police Radio Organisation (MPRO) in his motorcycle from Zawlnuam. On their way, they stopped at Zamuang village and took tea together. After the tea, Lalrinawma went alone towards Hriphaw. On the same day Lalrinawma filed a complaint with the Zawlnuam police station about loss of his wireless set and Mr. Laldawngliana was summoned to the police station for questioning. On 25 August 2010, the victim’s mother Mrs. Lalthannguri went to the police station to enquire about her son as he did not return home. Mr. C. Zodinsanga, Officer-In-Charge of the police station allegedly refused to give her any reason for her son’s detention and allegedly slapped her. After the lost wireless set was found on 25 August 2010 by a farmer between Zamuang and Hriphaw, the victim was released on 26 August 2010. The victim alleged that he was tortured during questioning at the police station. The victim was admitted at a hospital at Kawrthah with injuries. [3]

III. Repatriation of Brus to Mizoram

The first phase of repatriation of the Bru tribals displaced from Mizoram to Tripura due to violence in November 2009 took place from 21 May to 26 May 2010. A total of 231 displaced Bru families consisting of 1,115 persons returned to Mizoram. The repatriation took place based on the written assurance provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India with regard to the demands of the Bru Coordination Committee (BCC) through Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR). The ACHR’s Director has been acting as an interlocutor between the BCC and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to facilitate repatriation of the Brus to Mizoram.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a written communication to the Asian Centre for Human Rights informed that it had sanctioned grants-in-aid of Rs. 2.43 crore to the State government of Mizoram for meeting expenditure on repatriation and rehabilitation of Bru families who had fled to Tripura in November 2009. This assistance would be utilized by State Government of Mizoram for providing housing assistance @ Rs. 38,500 per Bru family whose huts were burnt, free ration to such families for a period of 9 months, cost of transportation from Tripura to the Bru villages in Mizoram. Apart from these, assistance include cost of preparation of land for Jhum (shifting) cultivation to Bru families who did not flee to Tripura, household kits and implements and for meeting cost of construction of barracks, sentry posts etc. for State Armed Police/Indian Reserve Battalion who would be deployed in relevant areas for facilitating peaceful repatriation
and rehabilitation of Bru IDPs. [4]

After the first phase of repatriation, the state government of Mizoram asked the Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) to conduct a survey of the IDP population in
six relief camps in Kanchanpur subdivision in North Tripura district. As per the survey conducted by the MBDPF completed on 28 July 2010, there are a total of 27,261 Bru
refugees from Mizoram living in six relief camps. According to Elvis Chorkhy, MBDPF president, the Bru IDP population living in the relief camps included (a) a total of 26,102 persons (including 5,090 minors) belonging to 5,180 families who fled in 1997 and (b) a total of 1,159 persons (including 242 minors) belonging to 241 families who fled in November 2009. [5]

The repatriation process suffered a setback with the resignation of six of executive members of Bru Co-ordination Committee (BCC), representative body of displaced Bru IDPs, on 31 August 2010 in protest against proposed repatriation. [6]

IV. Violations of women’s rights

Women in Mizoram continued to face violence. On the night of 8 July 2010, 60-year-old Thangbawihi, resident of Tuirial Airfield village near Aizawl, was stabbed by her husband and succumbed to her injuries a few days later at a hospital. [7]

The State Police stated that only 16 cases of domestic violence have been registered between 2007 and 2009. However, social workers believe that the number could be much higher since majority of the domestic violence cases usually go unreported. Many women do not report cases of physical abuse by their husbands for not being aware of the existence of a law against domestic violence. [8]

V. Violations of ESCRs

a. Forcible eviction/displacement

The government of India failed to rehabilitate thousands of tribals who have fallen outside the fencing of the 318 km India-Bangladesh border in Mizoram sector. On 27 September 2010, Mizoram’s Home Minister R. Lalzirliana stated in the State Assembly that over 35,000 people from 45 villages will be required to be rehabilitated due to fencing. He further stated that the state government of Mizoram has requested the Central government to provide funds to rehabilitate the victims. [9] But so far, there has been no assurance from the Government of India to provide rehabilitation to the fencing affected people. Almost all the fencing victims belong to the impoverished Chakma community in Mamit, Lunglei and Lawngtlai districts.

Mizoram also witnessed huge protest against the dams. On 28 September 2010, a massive protest rally was organized in Aizawl by Sinlung People’s Human Rights Organization (SPHRO) against hydro electric power projects in the north eastern parts of Mizoram mainly inhabited by the Hmar community. The protestors demanded withdrawal of the 1,500-MW Tipaimukh Dam (in Manipur), 210-MW Tuivai Hydel Project, 60-MW Tuirial Hydel Project, 40-MW Tuivawl Hydel Project and the 12-MW Serlui (B) Hydel Project. [10]

In another case of eviction, a total of 227 Chakma tribal families are going to be evicted from Andermanik village in Mamit district due to extension of the area of Dampa Tiger Reserve (DTR).
On 18 August 2010, N R Pradhan, Field Director of Dampa Tiger Reserve submitted his field survey report of proposed Andermanik village relocation site at Sata Lui near Rajiv Nagar and recommended this site for the proposed resettlement village. [11] On 28th September 2010, the Local Administration Department of Mizoram notified
the relocation. [12] The notice was published in the Mizoram Gazette on 1 October 2010.

Endnotes:
1. Mizoram capital deports Burmese, NGO workers, Indo Burma News, 31 August 2010
2. Chakma villager assaulted by Mizoram cop, The Sentinel, Assam, 22 July 2010
3. ACHR’s complaint with the NHRC dated 13 September 2010; ACHR Reference NO: MZ/10/2010
4. ACHR Press Release “Repatriation of the displaced Brus to Mizoram to start on 21 May 2010 on Home Ministry’s assurance”, 19 May 2010
5. Bru refugees headcount completes, The Sentinel, 30 July 2010
6. Bru committee suffers setback, The Sentinel, 1 September 2010
7. Most domestic violence cases in Mizoram go unreported, The Sentinel, 17 August 2010
8. Ibid
9. 35,000 people to be hit by border fencing in Mizoram, MSN news, 28 September 2010
10. Protest against hydroelectric power projects in Mizoram, The Sentinel, 29 September 2010
11. Report submitted by Field Director, Dampa Tiger Reserve, Ref No. B.15012/6/2010-PT(D) dated 18 August 2010
12. Local Administration Department, Govt of Mizoram, Ref No. B-14016/25/07-LAD/VC, dated Aizawl the 28th Sept. 2010
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