Aizawl: The Mizoram government has issued identity cards to Myanmar nationals taking shelter in different parts of the state,  a state home department official said on Friday. 

The identity cards, that indicate the Myanmar nationals as being provided with shelters in the state on humanitarian grounds, are a part of the state government’s step to maintain proper documentation of the refugees and have no validity outside the state, the official said.

He said that the ID cards would facilitate speedy and easier identification of the Myanmar nationals and would be helpful in law and order.

They would also prevent the foreign nationals from enrolling in the state electoral roll, he said.

He said that the ID cards are being disbursed to Myanmar nationals in their respective districts where they are taking shelter now.

According to an official of the Hnahthial district, at least 1,110 Myanmar nationals taking shelter in the district, were issued identity cards on Thursday.

Lawngtlai district administration has so far issued ID cards to 4,794 Myanmar refugees, who took shelter in the southern district, which borders Myanmar, official sources said.

Aizawl district administration would issue the ID cards to the Myanmar nationals taking refuge in the capital district next week, Aizawl deputy commissioner Lalhriatzuali Ralte said.

According to official data available with EastMojo, at least 29,532 people from Myanmar have so far fled their homes and taken shelter in different parts of Mizoram since the military takeover in February last year till Thursday. The Myanmar nationals are scattered in all the 11 districts of the state.

South Mizoram’s Siaha district housed the highest number of Myanmar nationals at 9,464, followed by Champhai district ( 7,810) and Lawngtlai district (5,475), the data said.

At least 1,916 Myanmar nationals have taken refuge in Aizawl district, 1,986 in Lunglei district, 1,732 in Hnahthial district, 433 in Serchhip district, 149 in Kolasib district, 450  in Mamit district, 64 in Khawzawl district and 53 in Saitual district, it said.

Six Mizoram districts – Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual- share a 510 km long international border with Myanmar’s Chin state. 

Most of the Myanmar nationals are from the Chin state and share ethnicity with the Mizos.

The majority of them live in relief camps, while others joined their local relatives and some others live in rented houses, an official said.

Apart from the government, the Myanmar nationals were provided with food and other necessary assistance by village councils, NGOs, churches and individuals, he said.

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