Mizoram awaits MHA decision to deal with Myanmarese nationals

Aizawl, March 8 (IANS) The Mizoram government has been providing relief and shelter to the people who have sneaked into the Indian territory from military coup hit Myanmar, state Home Minister said on Monday adding that the government is waiting for advice from the Centre “to handle the foreign nationals”.

Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana, while giving a statement in the Budget session of the state Assembly, said that the state government has sent the details about the “people who entered Mizoram from neighbouring Myanmar” to the Union Home Ministry and it is waiting for the Centre’s advice to deal with the foreign nationals.

“The district administrations are for the time being providing relief and shelter to the people who have crossed over to Mizoram from Myanmar. As the matter is highly sensitive and an issue of two neighbouring countries, we are officially not disclosing the details and the number of people who have come from Myanmar. However, all the details have been communicated to the MHA,” the minister informed the House.

The authorities in Myanmar had on Friday requested India to send back their eight police officers, who had crossed into Mizoram since March 3.

Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha member C. Lalrosanga said that 15 Myanmar police personnel came to Champhai district while eight policemen took shelter in Serchhip district.

Mizoram’s 510 km international borders with Myanmar are guarded by the Assam Rifles, while the Border Security Force maintains the security along the state’s 318 km borders with Bangladesh.

Assam Rifles officials and the villagers of the border areas of Champhai, Serchhip and Hnahthial districts told the media that around 100 people comprising unarmed police personnel and civilians, including children, had crossed over to the mountainous state from Myanmar since March 3.

Meanwhile, the National Campaign Against Torture (NCAT) on Monday filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), urging it to process the asylum/refugee claims of the Myanmar refugees who have fled following the coup in Myanmar.

The NCAT urged the NHRC to send an investigation team to Mizoram to interview each of the refugees and determine their refugee status in conformity with the national law and India’s obligations under the international law.

It also requested the MHRC to direct the government not to forcibly repatriate any Myanmar refugees until their claims have been assessed by the NHRC and further to extend humanitarian assistance to the fleeing refugees.

“As India has no law or mechanism to process the asylum applications and the decisions on refugee claims are taken by the Government of India on security considerations, which are often in violation of India’s constitutional obligations, the NHRC ought to intervene to fulfil its obligations,” Suhas Chakma, coordinator of the NCAT, said in a statement.

Four northeastern states — Mizoram (510 km), Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Manipur (398 km) and Nagaland (215 km) — share 1,643 km unfenced borders with Myanmar.

A one-year state of emergency has been declared in Myanmar and state power has been transferred to Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing after President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi were detained by the military on February 1.


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