23 civilians, police personnel enter India from Myanmar, seek refuge in Mizoram

At least 23 Myanmar police personnel and some civilians have crossed over into India and are seeking refuge in Mizoram, officials and villagers along the borders said on Friday.

Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha member C. Lalrosanga said that 15 Myanmar police personnel came to Champhai district while eight policemen took shelter in Serchhip district.

The police personnel and some civilians from the military coup-hit Myanmar entered into the two Mizoram districts since Wednesday.

“The Mizoram government has issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) with regard to the people entering Mizoram from Myanmar in view of the military coup. Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has already asked the people living along the borders to follow the SOP issued by the state government,” Lalrosanga said.

Serchhip district Deputy Commissioner Kumar Abhishek and his Champhai district counterpart Maria C.T. Zuali told the media separately that the district authorities have been providing food and shelter to the people who came from across the border.

Both DCs said that the entire matter is under investigation, and has been communicated to the higher authority and they are awaiting further instructions.

Mizoram Home Department officials were not available on phone to confirm the development.

Villagers of the border areas of Champhai and Serchhip districts told the media that at least 50 people comprising unarmed police personnel and civilians from Myanmar have crossed over to the mountainous state since March 3.

According to the villagers, all the intruders belong to the Chin ethnic group, to which the Mizo community of Mizoram belongs.

An influential Mizoram student body — Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) — expressing solidarity with Mynamar’s Mizo communities had organised sit-in demonstrations last month in Aizawl, protesting the recent military coup in Myanmar and the human rights violations in the neighbouring country.

The MZP also expressed solidarity with Mynamar’s Mizo communities, which too have faced the brunt of the coup.

Senior MZP leader Ricky Lalbiakmawia said that they would seek the intervention of the United Nations and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the military coup in Myanmar and urge them to provide help to the Mizo community in the neighbouring country.

Four northeastern states — Mizoram (510 km), Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Manipur (398 km) and Nagaland (215 km) — share 1,643 km unfenced borders with Myanmar.

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