12 Myanmar Nationals Take Refuge in Mizoram

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At least 12 people from Myanmar have crossed the Indian border and took refuge in Mizoram around a month after the neighbouring countrys military ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, officials said on Thursday.

Eight people have entered Serchhip district while four others reached Champhai district.

A senior police officer said that the identity of the refugees is yet to be ascertained.

Serchhip Deputy Commissioner Kumar Abhisek told PTI that five people, who include members of a family, crossed the international border and entered the district on Thursday, while three others did so on March 3.

The eight people are currently lodged at a community hall in Lungkawlh village, around 8 kilometres from the Indo- Myanmar border, and they were provided with food by the district administration, he said.

He said that details of the refugees are not yet available.

Deputy Commissioner of Champhai, Maria CT Zuali, said that four people from Myanmar have crossed over to the district recently.

The entry of people from the neighbouring country has been communicated to the state Home Department and Home Minister Lalchamliana will issue a statement on the matter in the assembly on Monday, an official said.

More than 100 people from Myanmar also attempted to cross the international border to seek refuge in Mizoram recently, the Champhai deputy commissioner told PTI.

However, they were stopped by Assam Rifles personnel guarding the border, she said.

Assam Rifles Deputy Inspector General Digvijay Singh said that the force was directed not to allow any illegal entry from the neighbouring country.

Zuali said that the state government has recently issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in view of the possible influx of refugees from Myanmar following the coup.

“Although civil society organisations are willing to harbour refugees from Myanmar, the Mizoram government can”t act on its own without the direction of the Centre as it is an international affair,” she said.

Besides, the state government will not have sufficient resources to feed the refugees unless assistance is received from the Centre, she added.

Mizoram shares a 404 km long porous border with Myanmar where the military junta took over the government on February 1. A number of pro-democracy protestors were killed in clashes with security forces there. PTI

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