Unexpected character encountered while parsing value: <. Path '', line 0, position 0.
With conflicts on, Mizoram predicts more influx of Myanmar nationals
Aizawl, Sep 23 - Around 11,500 Myanmar nationals have taken refuge in Mizoram so far and the state authorities are apprehending a fresh influx of migrants from the military coup-hit neighbouring country after renewed clashes between the Army and the pro-democratic forces there, officials said on Thursday.
Mizoram's lone Lok Sabha Member C. Lalrosanga, who along with a senior official from the state on Wednesday met Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and top central government officials in Delhi, said that there are reports from across the border that heavy fightings are going on off and on during the past one week between the Myanmar Army and the pro-democratic forces.
"We apprehend fresh influx of Myanmarese into Mizoram due to the armed conflict there. We have no sufficient details about the gun fight on the other side of the borders," Lalrosanga told IANS over phone.
Security and district officials, legislators and others while talking to IANS over phone said that the distressed refugees from Myanmar have crossed the Tiau River in small country boats to take shelter in the bordering villages of the northeastern state.
"The river Tiau (which flows along the Champhai district in eastern Mizoram and divides India and Myanmar) was infrequently crossed by the refugees in small boats with the help of local Mizo people.
"The hapless people with no option to survive the Army onslaught took shelter in our side and the Mizo villagers on humanitarian ground provided them food and shelter," a Mizoram NGO leader said.
According to the people familiar with the developments in Myanmar and media and intelligence reports, the fresh refugee influx took place in Mizoram and more might take place as the Burmese government-in-exile, the National Unity Government (NUG), had called for a countrywide uprising earlier this month and clashed with the Army, which carried out massive operations against the resistance forces.
They said that the Chinland Defence Force and Chin National Army (or Chin National Force) in joint operations earlier captured a Myanmar Army camp at Lungler village opposite the Mizoram border and had detained 12 Myanmar soldiers. After that the military authority sent a few helicopters and two jet fighters to launch a counter attack.
Sounds of fierce gunfights and bursting of shells and use of other firearms between the cadres of anti-coup NUG and the Myanmar Army could be heard from the villages bordering Myanmar.
Lalrosanga, who along with Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister, Pu Rosangzuala, met Intelligence Bureau Director Arvind Kumar and other senior Home Ministry officials besides the Home Secretary, apprised them of the situation arising in view of the arrival of Myanmarese nationals in Mizoram.
The Lok Sabha member said that they briefed the MHA officials and narrated the prevailing crisis in Mizoram following the sheltering of people from across the border.
"So far, the civil societies and various other NGOs in Mizoram are providing food and shelter to the Myanmar nationals. Their limited resources are already exhausted. The Central government must come forward to provide food and shelter to the ill-fated people," the parliamentarian said.
Lalrosanga along with state's Rajya Sabha member K. Vanlalvena and other ruling Mizo National Front leaders earlier on a number of occasions met the central leaders and top officials and requested them to provide necessary assistance, including food, to the Myanmar nationals, who are taking shelter in the bordering state.
Officials of the Crime Investigation Department (CID), which maintains the data of Myanmarese refugees, said that around 11,500 refugees, including about 20 legislators, have taken shelter in Mizoram's 11 districts since March this year.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga had last week once again urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide humanitarian assistance to Myanmar nationals as the bordering northeastern state is witnessing a fresh influx of refugees from the military coup-hit neighbouring country after a renewed clash between the Army and the pro-democratic forces, officials said on Thursday.
Mizoram planning board vice chairman H. Rammawi, who is closely dealing with the Myanmar refugee affairs, said on Thursday that the Chief Minister, besides writing letters, has also talked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah over phone on a number of occasions, requesting them to extend humanitarian assistance to the Myanmar refugees.
"The Central government is yet to respond positively, and has remained silent on the issue for almost seven months now," he said, adding that he has been in constant touch with the External Affairs Ministry and the Home Ministry, and the people of Mizoram are deeply disappointed over the Centre's silence and 'apathetic' attitude towards the distressed people from Myanmar.
He said that the state is now reeling under a severe financial crisis, limited infrastructure of health and other services and non-availability of required manpower, as the Covid pandemic has crippled the state's overall situation.
An MHA advisory, recently sent out to the four northeastern states, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, which share 1,640-km unfenced border with Myanmar, said that the states and Union Territories have no power to grant "refugee" status to any foreigner, and India is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol.
A one-year state of emergency has been declared in Myanmar, where power has been transferred to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing after President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi were detained by the military on February 1.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please Share this article with your friends.
More from:Political news