To: Dr. Justice A.S. Anand
National Human Rights Commission of India
Sardar Patel Bhavan
Date: July 28, 2003
Subject: The Chin/Burmese Refugees and Externally Displaced Persons in Mizoram State of India
Dear Honorable Dr. Justice A.S. Anand,
It has come to our attention that Chin refugees from Burma who have been taking refuge in Aizawl, Mizoram State, are being evicted by some local Mizo organizations and elements of local governmental unit. The eviction is being carried out in response to the rape of a nine year-old girl reportedly by an individual identified as Mr. Vanlalchanga, an immigrant from Burma on July 17, 2003.
The alleged rapist, Mr. Vanlalchanga, son of J.H. Laikhama, was arrested on July 20, 2003 by the Miroram police and was subsequently charged under U/S/ 376 (2) (G)/43 IIPC for raping a minor. He is currently being held in Central Jail of Aizawl.
According to News Link, Vanglaini, Aizawlpost, and other reliable sources, angry local residences have destroyed five houses – including three hotels managed by the alleged rapist family members at different locations.
Through a local newspaper Vanglaini, Mr. R. Lalringtluanga, secretary of Electric Veng (Ward) Young Mizo Association (YMA) branch, has informed all Chin residing in his locality to evacuate the area immediately. Similar orders have been issued by other branches of Young Mizo Association in Aizawl.
The majority of refugees from Burma who are living in Mizoram State are ethnic Chins who have fled their homeland to escape grave violations of human rights, including religious persecution, forced labor and policies of ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Burma’s ruling military junta against them. We are very concerned that the evicted persons will ultimately be deported to Burma where their lives would be in serious danger.
We condemn in the strongest terms the act of the rapist. We also hope that the perpetrator will be brought to justice in accordance with Indian penal and criminal law. On the other hand, we are very concerned that innocent Chin refugees are being targeted and their lives put in danger.
We sincerely urge your office to intervene in the matter to ensure that the fundamental rights of Chin refugees are protected and that they are not forced repatriated to Burma.
Salai Bawi Lian Mang
1) Board of Directors & All Field Officers, Chin Human Rights Organizations
2) Asian Human Rights Commission
3) United States Committee for Refugee
4) Chief Of Mission, UNHCR, Delhi
5) Refugee International
6) US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration