Mizoram shares a 510-km-long international boundary with Myanmar. (FILE)
The number of Myanmar refugees - who fled their country following military coup last year - in Mizoram has touched 22,000, with 8,000 fresh additions in the last week, says data released by the state government. Among the refugees are lawmakers and leaders from Myanmar.
The Mizoram government is going to provide these refugees with Identity Cards soon. The process was already underway but had to be stopped due to surge in Covid cases, government sources said.
The fresh refugees crossed over the Tiau river in a small country boat and then trekked the forested terrain to reach Mizoram, official sources added.
Most of the Myanmar nationals are from Chin state, who share ethnic ties with the Mizos.
Chief Minister Zoramthanga has written several times to the Centre to provide political asylum to the Myanmar nationals.
The Union Home Ministry had last year sent out an advisory to four northeastern states -- Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh -- which share a 1,640-km unfenced border with Myanmar, saying that the states and Union Territories have no power to grant "refugee" status to any foreigner, and India is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol.
Various NGOs and local organisations have formed the Myanmar Refugee Relief Committee and the organisation has been collecting donations, relief material, food, clothes and medicines to help the immigrants.
Mizoram shares a 510-km-long international boundary with Myanmar.
The north-eastern state is already home to thousands of Chin communities of Myanmar, who migrated to the state since the late 1980s fleeing the military junta in the neighbouring country.