The Deputy Commissioner of Lunglei in Mizoram has issued notice to residents of six villages fallen outside the India-Bangladesh border fence to leave their homes by February 25 or face action, writes PARITOSH CHAKMA
Merinews, 16 Feb, 2011
The Deputy Commissioner of Lunglei district in Mizoram, Ms M Zohmingthangi has allegedly served eviction notice to Chakma residents of six villages in the district to leave their homes before February 25, 2011 or face action. These six villages namely Saisen, Bandiasora, Nekuksora, Debasora, Malsury and Tablabagh, situated near the India-Bangladesh border, have fallen outside the border fence being constructed by Ministry of Home Affairs.
At least two reputed Mizo dailies Vanglaini on February 15, 2011 and The Zozam Times on February 14, 2011 reported that earlier the Lunglei DC had issued notice to leave the villages by February 15 but the villagers refused to leave. While issuing the eviction notice, the Lunglei DC has contented that since the villagers have got fencing compensation, they must vacate their lands and homes.
However, no alternative arrangement has been made for their resettlement. The fencing affected villagers have been demanding rehabilitation inside the fence.
On February 15, 2011, a New Delhi based human rights group, Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) intervened on behalf of the victims. In its letter sent to Shri GK Pillai, Home Secretary, Government of India, the ACHR stated that, “The threat issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Lunglei is totally uncalled for and unacceptable and is in total contravention of the existing policies of both the Mizoram government and the Ministry of Home Affairs with regard to the fencing victims. ”
The rights group pointed out that earlier on July 17, 2008, Mr Romawia, Deputy Secretary to the Government of Mizoram, Home Department, had stated that: “It may be mentioned that those families placed on the other side of the Fencing Line may not be called ‘displaced’ since the Fencing Line is not the boundary of Indo-Bangla Border... It is also informed to the villagers that their shifting from outside to the inner side of the fencing will depends upon the will of the villagers. There is no compulsion to have their residence shifted to the inner side of the Fencing Line.”
As a result of the threat, the villagers of these six villages and other villages along the India-Bangla border areas have been left completely terrified and uncertain about their safety, security and future, ACHR’s letter to Mr Pillai added, and demanded all human rights and fundamental freedoms of the villagers who have fallen outside the India-Bangladesh border fence must be protected, and appropriate action be taken against the Lunglei DC for threatening the innocent villagers.
Earlier on September 27, 2010, Mizoram Home Minister R Lalzirliana informed the State Assembly that over 35,000 people from 45 villages are required to be relocated inside the fence due to the India-Bangladesh border fencing in Mizoram.