At least 15 crossed over from Myanmar into 3 Mizoram districts

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Amid the continuing violence and turmoil in neighbouring Myanmar, at least 15 persons, including at least four Myanmarese policemen, have crossed over into Mizoram over the last few days, according to information pieced together from multiple state government officials.

Senior bureaucrats in state capital Aizawl say that the government is awaiting directions from New Delhi and, meanwhile, have prepared an SOP on how to get the refugees registered.

Speaking in Aizawl on Friday, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said, “Our brothers and sisters in Myanmar are currently facing problems because of the military coup, and we welcome those who are forced to flee into Mizoram for their physical safety. The government is mindful that they could face hunger and so has sanctioned funds accordingly.”

A senior official of the Home Department of Mizoram told The Indian Express, “We have been writing to Delhi and are awaiting a response as to how we should go ahead with the situation.”

“As of now, we have asked Deputy Commissioners to collect information of those arriving based on a performa we have prepared,” said another official.

But a source in the Assam Rifles, whose personnel are deployed at the border, told The Indian Express that while the state government has issued SOPs, there are not in consonance with the Centre.

“We have received instructions from Delhi not to let refugees in, but we have also been told not to get into a confrontation with the district administration. So as of now, we are playing the part of a neutral force and informing the Centre as to what exactly is happening,” the Assam Rifles source said.

Refugees have come into at least three border districts of Mizoram — Champai, Serchhip and Siaha.

Maria CT Zuali, DC of Champai district of Mizoram, told The Indian Express on Friday morning, “Four defected policemen of Myanmar have crossed into Champai. We are waiting orders on how to deal with them.”

A source said on condition of anonymity that the number in Champai could be as high as 20.

Abhishek Kumar, the DC of Serchhip district, told The Indian Express Thursday night that the number of people who have moved into the district stands at eight. “Eight Myanmarese have come into Serchhip seeking refuge. We are collecting details and awaiting orders on what to do with them. I cannot comment on their identities right now.”

An official said that there are reports of a family of three turning up at a village in Siaha district.

The possibility of an influx of refugees into Mizoram came to light soon after the coup in Myanmar.

The Indian Express had reported on February 10 that authorities in Champai have issued an alert against an influx of refugees, with an armed outfit, the Chin National Army, seeking refuge for at least 40 families.

Champai DC Zuali had then issued a notification alerting that there might be people seeking refuge in Mizoram after the developments in Myanmar. She directed that any village in the district where such refugees may have entered would have to report details like name, age and Myanmar ID details to the DC.

Champai shares a porous border with Chin State of Myanmar, with the Mizo and Chin communities sharing ethnic roots.

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