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Rise in number of displaced people from Myanmar taking shelter in Mizoram, Manipur

The number of displaced people from Myanmar taking shelter in six districts in Mizoram and Chandel and Churachandpur districts in Manipur is increasing.

Official say over 58,000 displaced people, including 18 lawmakers representing the National League for Democracy, had crossed the 908-km-long Myanmar border along Manipur and Mizoram after the February coup. The UN Refugee Agency, in a report, said that the actual number of the displaced could be higher since many were unrecorded.

Pachuau Lalmalsuma, a doctor who is tackling the COVID-19 infection in Mizoram, said, “Several migrants tested in Aizawl, the State capital, were found to be COVID-19 positive”. A fraction of the displaced persons had returned home. But then people are fleeing since there had been occasional firing in some areas, including Tamu town, in Myanmar. Some pro-democracy activists died or sustained life-changing injuries.

The Manipur government claims that the 398-km-long border with Myanmar had been sealed following the February coup.

However, the sealing of the international border has not yielded the desired result. Since there is no insurmountable border fencing, people just cross the unmanned border. They include rebels, drug smugglers and sleazy characters. That smugglers and rebels have untrammelled cross-border movement is established by the fact that Assam Rifles personnel, civil police, police commandos and anti-narcotics personnel have been seizing drugs, narcotic pills, gold biscuits and bars and other costly contraband goods in areas near the Manipur-Myanmar border.

Officials said that as a result of the border being sealed, thousands of traders and those who contribute to the legalised trade have been left in the lurch.

Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS), Manipur has demanded meaningful implementation of the ILP system in the State. After getting the President’s assent on December 11, 2019, it was enforced in Manipur from December 31, 2019.

BJP leader Ram Madhav announced in Imphal that he was the first person to obtain an ILP to visit Manipur. Luwangcha Chinkhei, co-convener of the JCILPS, said that the State government should strictly implement the ILP system so that the non-locals cannot wriggle through the loopholes.

There has been strict enforcement of the ILP in Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. There is no mechanism in Manipur to detect non-locals who overstay. The ILP does not allow sale of land and letting out to non-locals. Mr. Chingkhei further said that the State government had done nothing to define clearly who the indigenous and native people were.

During normal times, Myanmar welcomes tourists from Manipur and other States. Some Manipur-origin Buddhists in Myanmar said that even people going on pilgrimage at Gaya were intercepted along the highways and sent back home.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 11:12:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rise-in-number-of-displaced-people-from-myanmar-taking-shelter-in-mizoram-manipur/article35601628.ece

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