Aizawl: A day after the crash landing of a Myanmar military plane at Mizoram’s Lengpui airport near Aizawl, the Assam Rifles on Wednesday said that 92 soldiers, who fled to India after clashes with rebel groups, from the neighbouring country had been repatriated.
It is pertinent to mention Mizoram shares a 510-km-long border with Myanmar.
Myanmar aircraft crashes in Mizoram
According to the officials, the Y-8 cargo plane of the Myanmar Air Force overshot the runway at the airport and crash-landed into a bush due to engine failure, leading to the temporary closure of the airport.
The plane, carrying 14 people, had arrived to repatriate 92 Myanmarese soldiers who had crossed into India last week after clashes with an ethnic insurgent group.
The 14 crew members, who miraculously survived the crash, were transported later in the day by another Myanmarese aircraft from Lengpui to Sittwe port town in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
As per the officials, the accident occurred as one of the two engines of the plane malfunctioned. The pilot was experienced and he had landed at Lengpui airport earlier also, they said.
635 Myanmarese army personnel repatriated
With this latest repatriation, a cumulative total of 635 Myanmarese army personnel have been sent back to their country from Mizoram since November of last year.
The soldiers entered Bandukbanga village at the India-Myanmar-Bangladesh trijunction in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district and approached the Assam Rifles for assistance. The soldiers were taken to Assam Rifles’ Parva camp in the district.
Earlier, India on January 22 sent home at least 184 Myanmarese soldiers, who fled to Mizoram. On January 2 and 9, a total of 151 Myanmarese soldiers were flown back home on a Myanmar military aircraft that came to Lengpui airport.
Myanmarese soldiers seek refuge in Mizoram
Earlier, Myanmarese soldiers, commonly known as the ‘Tatmadaw,’ sought refuge in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district after their camps in the neighbouring country were overtaken by Arakan Army fighters, an armed ethnic group.
According to an Assam Rifles officer, the soldiers from the Myanmar army, carrying their weapons, fled and sought refuge with the Assam Rifles at Tuisentlang in Lawngtlai district.
(With PTI inputs)