After Mizoram, Manipur offers help to Myanmar refugees

CM Biren Singh flags humanitarian issue

March 11, 2021 05:56 am | Updated 05:56 am IST - New Delhi

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh during a call-on, in New Delhi, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh during a call-on, in New Delhi, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.

Manipur Chief minister N. Biren Singh said on Wednesday that schools may be arranged by the State government for “refugees from Myanmar,” but since it was a bilateral issue, they were awaiting directions from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Mr. Singh told The Hindu on the phone that several persons from Myanmar “attempted to sneak” into India from the Manipur border but returned on seeing the presence of large number of security personnel. Manipur shares a 398 km border with Myanmar.

More than a dozen foreign nationals including policemen and women from Myanmar have fled to neighbouring Mizoram fearing a military crackdown.

“I have requested Home Minister Amit Shah to tell us what to do. If you ask me it is a humanitarian issue but since it is a bilateral issue between India and Myanmar, I have to speak to the Centre,” Mr. Singh said.

Schools planned

When asked if arrangements have been done to house the people fleeing the Myanmar military, Mr. Singh said, “Schools etc. may be arranged, we are almost ready but awaiting directions.”

“We had alerted the border and deployed additional security forces there. There is no exodus so far but we are expecting many people to come here,” he said, adding, “We are prepared to give shelter to any civilian.”

MHA has refused to comment on the future course of action pertaining to the refugees from Myanmar.

The Mizoram government has also rued lack of instructions from the Centre on the issue. Mizoram’s Environment and Transport Minister T.J. Lalnungtluanga had told The Hindu on Tuesday, “There is no proper instruction from the Centre, and it is not fair. I am ready to help the people in my individual capacity and from the government on humanitarian grounds.”

Chief Secy in Delhi

Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo flew to Delhi on Tuesday even though the legislative Assembly is in session. He is likely to have met senior MHA officials.

In an interview to the BBC, police officers from Myanmar who fled across the border into Mizoram said “they escaped, fearing they’d be forced to kill or harm civilians.”

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.