More Myanmar refugees entering Mizoram due to clashes: Police

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More refugees from Myanmar’s Chin state are entering the southern and eastern border districts of Mizoram due to continuing clashes between the neighbouring country’s army and rebels, a senior police officer said on Sunday.

At least 12,939 Myanmarese, including women and children, are currently taking shelter in different parts of Mizoram, he said.

Of them, the detailed information of 1,518 Myanmarese is yet to be recorded, the officer said.

The numbers keep changing as there are new entrants almost every day, while some who live near the international border enter and exit India on a regular basis, he said.

The police officer said that Myanmar nationals are being provided with shelter and food by locals, community leaders, NGOs and churches.

As per Mizoram Police data, six border districts Champhai, Lawngtlai, Siaha, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual together housed 9,411 refugees.

The Myanmar nationals are taking shelter in all the 11 districts, with Champhai housing the highest number at 5,998, while there are 1,622 people in state capital Aizawl, as per the data.

Young Mizo Association’s Tuipuiral unit president M C Lalramenga said that around 2,690 Myanmar nationals are currently taking shelter in Tuipuiral area comprising 21 villages in Champhai district.

He said that refugees from Myanmar’s Chin state are continuously pouring in and more influx is expected after their harvest season.

Lalramenga said that relief camps and temporary shelters have been set up by locals in 14 villages in the area.

Besides several NGOs, Presbyterian, Baptist and Roman Catholic churches are proving food and clothing along with monetary assistance to the refugees.

Central Young Mizo Association vice president Lalhmachhuana said that the organisation has recently disbursed Rs 15 lakh, collected from people as donation, as assistance among the Myanmar refugees.

He said the outfit will send two truckloads of cloth to two southern districts next week.

Mizoram shares a 510-km-long international boundary with Myanmar.

Among six border districts, Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai and Hnahthial have witnessed more influx from Myanmar since September 7, officials said.

The northeastern state has been facing a steady influx from Myanmar since the military junta seized power through a coup in February.

The Myanmar nationals, who have taken refuge in Mizoram, are mostly from the Chin communities, who share ethnic ties with the Mizos.

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