Mizoram’s apex student body Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) on Sunday alleged that native Mizos were discriminated against and denied essential commodities in the Chakma areas in south Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district during the lockdown.
The organisation’s vice-president, Peter Chhangte, told The Telegraph that some of the MZP leaders, including him, visited Parva villages within the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) in Lawngtlai district last week following a report that native Mizos were discriminated against by local leaders and volunteers of a village task force during the nationwide lockdown.
He alleged that Mizos belonging to Bawm tribe, living at Parva-III, were denied entry to grocery stores and were prevented from buying essential commodities and other eatables by Chakma volunteers.
He said they convened a meeting with local and community leaders of both the Chakma and Mizo communities asking them to learn peaceful co-existence as a responsible citizens in this time of crisis.
“We asked the Chakma community leaders not to obstruct the Mizos from buying both essential and non-essential commodities from shops during the lockdown and also take measures for peaceful co-existence,” he said.
A statement issued by the MZP said the denial of essential commodities to the Mizos by village task force, led by the Chakmas, was an insult to the Mizo communities and said it will do its best to protect the native Mizos.
Rasik Mohan Chakma, the chief executive member of CADC, said they did not receive report of such incident.
“Who knows a shopkeeper may prevent some customers from entering the shop as a precaution. But that does not mean that the entire Mizo residents were denied essential commodities. How can people be prevented from buying commodities in this time of crisis?” he asked.
Parva is located about 430km from Aizawl and 185km from Lawngtlai. About 60 Mizo families live at Parva-III along with Chakma residents.
The Chakma people are concentrated mainly in south-western part of Mizoram and they constitute about eight per cent of the state population.
On several occasions, misunderstanding took place between the majority Mizos and minority Buddhist Chakmas because of several reasons, which created a rift between the two communities.