Aizawl: At least 26 people from, including 11 children, who were stranded along the India-Myanmar border, were brought back to Mizoram on Sunday night, an official of Champhai district administration said.

Additional deputy commissioner of Champhai district Mark Lalthanliana said that the residents, who had gone to visit their relatives in Myanmar long before the international border was sealed, were stranded and held on a bridge over Tiau river that connects Zokhawthar in Mizoram’s Champhai district with Rih in Myanmar for one night (Saturday).

They were brought back to Zokhawthar around 10 pm on Sunday and sent for quarantine at District Panchayat Resources Centre in Champhai’s Keifantlang, he said.

Mizoram shares about 510 km of unfenced international border with Myanmar.

People on either side of the border are visiting each other frequently due to the existence of free movement regime.

On March 22, the Mizoram government sealed its border with Myanmar and Bangladesh prohibiting movement of people and essential commodities across the border amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Lalthanliana said that the 26 people were from different parts of the state and majority of them belong to Aizawl. He said that Myanmar army put them on the bridge but were refused to enter Mizoram as Assam Rifles, which guarded the border sealed the gate, which could be opened on only instruction of the Union home ministry.

Timely intervention of home minister Lalchamliana and transports minister T.J. Lalnuntluanga, who is also the MLA of Champhai North constituency under which Zokhawthar falls, has led to the release of the stranded people.

He said that Zokhawthar village level task force on COVID-19 and YMA volunteers provided them tarpaulin and foods during their stay on the bridge on Saturday night.

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