Rajya Sabha MP said: More than 40,000 refugees from Myanmar are based in 60 camps established in Mizoram. | Popgen Tech
Mizo National Front Rajya Sabha MP K. Vanlalvena. File | Photo credit: PTI
More than 40,000 refugees from Myanmar have taken refuge in Mizoram since a military coup in the neighboring country in February 2021, according to K. Vanlalvena, a Rajya Sabha member from the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF). He said that the refugees are prohibited from taking up any kind of job or work, however the State government is providing them with basic equipment in the camps.
Mr. Vanlalvena said The Hindu that Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who was in Delhi, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 14 and asked him to take necessary steps to restore normalcy in Myanmar.
He said that India is in a position to solve the refugee crisis because of its neutrality. “India is neither on the side of the military (Myanmar) nor the refugees. Therefore, the Chief Minister asked the Prime Minister to discuss the issue with Myanmar,” Mr. Vanlalvena said.
The Tatmadaw or Myanmar military took over the country after a coup on February 1, 2021. Since then, thousands of refugees from Myanmar, who belong to the Chin ethnic group that includes the Lai, Tidim-Zomi, Lusei and Hualngo tribes have a close relationship with. the Mizo community, they crossed Mizoram. India and Myanmar share a 1,643-km border and people on either side have family ties.
The parliamentarian said that the State government had registered about 30,000 refugees and there were almost 60 camps where the refugees were staying.
“There are many refugees living with their families and friends, so they have not been officially registered, but the total count has stood at more than 40,000 so far. It is difficult to give an exact number,” he said.
Though the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a letter last year asked the Chief Secretaries of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh to “take appropriate action as per law to check illegal influx from Myanmar into India”, none of the refugees were established. in Mizoram for more than a year have been deported so far. The MHA said that State governments do not have the power to grant “refugee” status to any foreigner and India is not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol.
Mr. Zoramthanga met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on September 22. A tweet from his office said the two “discussed several important issues including the state of Myanmar refugees in Mizoram.”
“The government has already ordered that the refugees cannot settle here and they have also issued an order prohibiting them from taking any kind of work. The refugees are expected not to leave the camps. However, if the government can arrange work, it will be good. The Central Government has given money to Mizoram,” he said.
A Free Movement Regime (FMR) exists between India and Myanmar under which every member of the hill tribes, who is either a citizen of India or Myanmar and is a resident of any area within 16 km on either side of Indo -. Myanmar Border (IMB) can cross the border with a border pass (with one year validity) issued by the competent authority and can stay up to two weeks per visit.