Ever since the military coup broke out in Myanmar, the number of refugees from the country who have entered Mizoram has crossed 1,000, informed officials. They added that at least 100 of such Myanmarese nationals were sent back but they managed to sneak back to the northeastern state again.
The government did not receive any further communication from the Centre on the Myanmarese refugee issue after the March 10 directive to stop illegal migration of people from that country, said a senior Mizoram home department official.
"As per the home department's record, 1,042 Myanmarese nationals have entered the state till Monday. While most of them are staying in border villages and are being provided with relief and shelter by local NGOs, some are living with their relatives," the official told PTI.
Many of the people who have crossed the international border to reach Mizoram since the military seized power in Myanmar last month are personnel of the police and fire brigade, he said.
Meanwhile, a Champhai district official said that about 100 refugees who were recently sent back to Myanmar from Farkawn village by an NGO have returned to Mizoram.
They crossed the Tiau river which runs along the Mizoram-Myanmar border and went to other villages this time, she said.
Till now, such an incident was reported from one village only and it is not immediately clear why those 100-odd people were sent back.
Mizoram shares a 510 km long porous border with Myanmar's Chin state and most of the Myanmarese nationals who have taken refuge in the state belong to the Chin, also known
as the Zo, community. They share the same ancestry and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram.
On March 10, the MHA wrote to the chief secretaries of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh and the Assam Rifles guarding the Indo-Myanmar border, to check the influx of people from that country and also to identify the illegal migrants and deport them.
However, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has said that since the people of his state share ethnic ties with the refugees of the Chin community of Myanmar, they cannot remain indifferent to their plight.
The opposition Congress in the state also backed him in this issue.
(With PTI Inputs)