Eight Rohingya girls, suspected to be victims of human trafficking, were rescued from a village near the Mizoram-Myanmar border in Champai district, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police of Northern Range Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said here Tuesday.
The girls, all of them minors, were rescued from Dungtkang village on Monday, the DIG said, adding that they were being taken to Myanmar from Bangladesh via India. Khiangte told PTI that the girls were produced before the chief judicial magistrate on Tuesday.
He said police have not ruled out the involvement of human traffickers operating in the Sabulara area in Bangladesh where the Rohingya refugees were given shelter.
“Though they were travelling and entering Mizoram without valid documents, the court is not likely to send them to police custody. They will be either handed over to NGOs or women protective homes run by the Social Welfare Department,” he said.
Eight Rohingya women, who were trying to enter Mizoram without any travel documents, were detained by the state police at the Mizoram-Assam border Vairengte Police check-post on April 25.
They had claimed that they were from the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Sabulara.
They also told police that some people abducted them from a market in Bangladesh on April 19 and brought them to Silchar in Assam.
The rescued Rohingya women have been kept in a Social Welfare Department-run protective home for women.
A senior Home Department official said while the state government was ready to hand over the abducted girls to reputed NGOs in the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs advised against the move.
“Absence of extradition treaty between India and Myanmar made it impossible to hand over the trafficked girls to Myanmar even as the girls came from Rakhine state in that country,” the official said, adding that the Myanmar government would never accept Rohingya community members as citizens of the country.
The Mizoram government was in a dilemma when some Arakan Army (AA) militants, who underwent medical treatment in the state last year, were to be deported as handing them over to the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) would mean speedy execution of the insurgents, he said.
Though Mizoram’s Home minister Lalchamliana informed the state legislature that force might be used to deport over 200 Myanmar refugees taking shelter in south Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district in accordance with the diktat of the Ministry of Home Affairs, such action might invite intervention from international human rights bodies, the official added. (PTI)