Mizoram MP flags rising influx of Myanmar refugees

State team asks Centre to intervene on behalf those fleeing coup

Published - March 19, 2021 09:56 pm IST - New Delhi

More than 700 “refugees” from Myanmar are said to have entered Mizoram in the past few days, taking the total number of such persons fleeing the military crackdown in the neighbouring country to around 1,000, according to K. Vanlalvena, a Rajya Sabha member from the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) party.

A four member delegation from Mizoram including Mr. Vanlalvena met Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai on Friday and Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Thursday seeking their intervention.

On Tuesday, the parliamentarian had informed the Rajya Sabha that more than 300 people who have entered Mizoram from Myanmar include pregnant women and children.

“The Minister listened to us but did not speak much. We pressed them to extend support to Myanmar refugees who are victims of violence and brutality under military rule in Myanmar. We made it clear that the refugees will not be deported and proper relief measures must be made by the Central government,” the MP said. He said Mizoram government has taken measures to provide relief to the refugees and has housed them in stadiums and other accommodation.

The other members of the delegation included Lok Sabha member C. Lalrosanga, State Planning Board Vice-Chairman H .Rammawi and adviser to MNF party Rosangzuala. The delegation was sent by Chief Minister Zoramthanga to convey his message that Centre should involve more in Myanmar politics and not deport the refugees till the situation was peaceful there.

He said the Myanmarese refugees belong to the Chin ethnic group comprising Lai, Tidim-Zomi, Lusei and Hualngo tribes — related to the dominant Mizos in the northeast.

The Tatmadaw, or Myanmar military, had taken over the country after a coup on February 1.

On March 10, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sent a letter to the State governments of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram that the refugees should be identified and deported and the State Governments have no powers to grant “refugee” status to any foreigner” as India is not a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol.

The four States share border with Myanmar.

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