The Mizo believe that their ancestors once lived in China. Around A . D . 996 they migrated to the Chindwin belt of Mountains through the Hukung Valley of Myanmar and lived for centuries in the Kabaw Valley. To avoid an onslaught of Shan influence they then migrated in groups to the Chin Hills. In about 1765 they established a large village in Myanmar called Selsih (Zopuii) 35 kilometers to the west of the Tiau River. The first historical mention of the Mizo (Lushai) is in 1777. In that year the chief of Chittagong, which had been ceded to the British under Lord Clive by Mir Kasim in 1760, applied for a detachment of soldiers to protect the people against an incursion of the Kuki, as they were then called. By 1810 Chief Lallula Sailo and other related chiefs controlled the whole of the country from the Tiau River to Demagiri. The pressure on the eastern Mizo chiefs from the Chin Hills chiefs such as Suktes was severe, as the latter were moving down from the hills to the plains in the Cachar and Sylhet areas. British punitive expeditions to Mizoram began in 1844. In December 1896 a resolution was passed to amalgamate the north and south Lushai Hills administratively at the Chin-Lushai Conference held at Lunglei. British administration continued until India gained independence in 1947. The Mizo, to safeguard their own identity and culture, became politically active in 1966, which resulted in 1983 in their recognition that the constitution of India was a mechanism for achieving Socioeconomic development.