After about 80 days of the military coupe in neighbouring country Myanmar on February 1, a recent tally showed that at least 15,000, escaping persecution have taken refuge in India,’s Mizoram with more likely to cross over as fighting intensifies.
Four states of India, Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km) shares porous mountainous 1,643 km long border with Myanmar and permits a ‘free movement’ regime upto 16 km beyond the border.
However, post the coup, in late February, influx happened only in Mizoram withpolicemen escaping into the state to avoid having to take orders from a junta trying to suppress opposition to the Feb 1 coup.
By April, about 1,800 people from Myanmar – including several lawmakers – had crossed the border but the number has recently grown to more than 15,400, according to the vice-chairman of Mizoram’s State Planning Board, H. Rammawi.
“It is increasing day by day,” Rammawi told Reuters in a telephonic interview, adding that many people from Myanmar were going to the homes of relatives making it difficult to track numbers.
Communities in Mizoram and some parts of Myanmar have close ethnic ties, with extended families often strung across both sides of the border.
About 6,000 of the people from Myanmar are in Aizawl with others scattered in five districts, according to data shared by Rammawi.
Rammawi said that residents and non-government organisations were taking care of the people but the state government had sought assistance from federal authorities.
“Medical aid and their rations are very important,” he said, adding that some people from Myanmar had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
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