North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

Kuki-Chin Refugees Issue


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Kuki-Chin refugees

Mains level: Refugee influx in NE

kuki chin

As another round of refugee crisis brews on the Mizoram-Bangladesh border, several members of the Kuki-Chin community were “pushed back” by the Border Security Force (BSF).

Who are the Kuki Chins?

  • The Chins of Myanmar, the Mizos of Mizoram and the Kukis of Bangladesh are of the same ancestry and belong to the Kuki ethnic group native to the Mizo hills.
  • They are collectively called the Zo people.
  • The Kuki Chin people are settled in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the only extensive hill area in Bangladesh that lies in the southeastern part of the country.
  • It borders Myanmar on the southeast, Tripura on the north, Mizoram on the east and the Chittagong district in the west.
  • Mizoram shares a 318-km stretch of international border with Bangladesh.

Why are they fleeing to Mizoram?

  • Already, since 2021, around 30,000 Kuki Chin refugees from Myanmar have sought shelter in Mizoram.
  • They have been escaping the crackdown by the military junta in Myanmar and identity-loss in Bangladesh.

Roots of their insurgency

  • The roots of Kuki militancy lie in conflicts of ethnic identity.
  • First was the demand for self-determination solely for groups belonging to their ethnic fabric, meaning the dream to form a Kukiland.
  • The second reason for insurgency lies in the inter-community conflicts between the Kukis and the Nagas in Manipur.
  • The Kuki-Naga conflict was started over securing identity and land as some Kuki-inhabited areas coincided with Naga-inhabited areas.
  • Wanting to dominate trade and cultural activities in those areas the two communities often engaged in violent standoffs, with villages being torched, civilians killed and so on.

What is India’s Stand?

  • The authorities are prepared to handle the inflow.
  • India would be extending help and shelter to the refugees coming in from Bangladesh on humanitarian ground.
  • A meeting of the Mizoram Cabinet decided to provide temporary shelter, food and medicine to the refugees who have already crossed over.


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