Mizoram: Fresh influx of Myanmar residents in state
Refugees from Karen

Aizawl: Mizoram is most likely staring at a second wave of refugee influx from Myanmar as more than 150 people have recently sneaked into the state after deposed legislators of the exiled Burmese government, National Unity Government (NUG),  called for a nationwide uprising against the military junta on September 7, state officials said.

Mizoram, which shares a 510-km long international border with Myanmar, has already sheltered a total of 10,229 people from Myanmar.

Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamlian had recently shared this information in the state Assembly. He said a total of 10,229 people from Myanmar had entered Mizoram till August 28 since the military coup, as per official records.

Maria CT Zuali, deputy commissioner of Champhai district, which borders Myanmar,  said at least 35 people from the neighbouring country sneaked into the district on Wednesday following the nation-wide uprising call.

Hnahthial district deputy commissioner H. Dolianbuaia also confirmed that about 60 Myanmar nationals entered the district since Thursday, fleeing an armed struggle between civilians and Myanmar’s military. 

Sounds of fierce gunfight between the supporters of NUG and Myanmar army that took place at a Myanmar remote village on Friday morning could even be heard at Thingsai, the nearest border village in Mizoram’s Hnahthial district, he said. 

“Our district has already hosted about 700 refugees from Maynmar. More people are likely to enter following the nationwide uprising in the neighbouring country,” he said.
Majority of the Myanmar nationals were given temporary shelter and food by local organisations and individuals on humanitarian grounds while others are living with their relatives,” Dolianbuaia told EastMojo.

An official from Lawngtlai, the southernmost district of the state bordering Myanmar, confirmed to EastMojo that around 60 people from Myanmar sneaked into some remote villages in the district two days ago.

Most Myanmar nationals live in temporary shelters set up by NGOs, he said. The district administration could not help them formally as they are yet to be granted refugee status, he added.

Lawngtlai-based Central Young Lai Association (CYLA) president H C Vanlalruatpuia said at least 32 people entered Lungpher village and another 22 fled to a border village in Lawngtlai district on Wednesday.

“Few more people have also entered between Thursday and Friday. Their actual figure is yet to be confirmed,” Vanlalruatpuia told EastMojo.

While informing the Assembly, the Home Minister had said some of the refugees have returned to Myanmar or have gone outside the state.

Meanwhile,  a record of state police accessed by this reporter on Friday showed that at least 9,519 Myanmar nationals are currently taking refuge across all the 11 districts of the state. Of this, details of 304 people are yet to be confirmed. Champhai district currently is housing the highest number of refugees at 4,551, followed by Aizawl district at 1,622 and Lawngtlai district with 1,142 refugees, it said.

Highly-placed sources said there are more than 20 lawmakers among the Myanmar nationals who have taken shelter in Mizoram.

Recently, the state government had also started enrolling children of Myanmar nationals in schools in the state since August. 

State Education Minister Lalchhandama Ralte had said around 400 children have already been enrolled in government schools and private schools in the state.

Most of the refugees are from Chin state who share ethnic ties with the Mizos of Mizoram.

Earlier in March, Chief Minister Zoramthanga had urged the Centre to provide asylum to the Myanmar nationals.

Myanmar has been pushed into chaos after the military takeover in February. Since then, thousands of refguees have entered Mizoram, while some have also made their way into India via Manipur.

Also read:  8 charged under POCSO Act for parading minor girls naked

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