AIZAWL: The Mizoram government is currently undertaking a census of Myanmar nationals, who took refuge in the state after fleeing their homes following the military coup in February last year, a minister said on Monday. 

State home minister Lalchamliana said that the government has decided to properly document the Myanmar nationals through census. 

“We want to maintain proper documentation of the Myanmar nationals for which census is currently being conducted by district administrations where the refugees take shelter,” he said.

He said that the state government will also issue identity cards to all the Myanmar nationals, who took refuge in Mizoram due to the current political crisis in their country.

According to Lalchamliana, around 2,000 more refugees have reportedly entered the state in the last one week in the wake of the violent clashes between Myanmar army and civilian defence forces in Chin state.

“With this fresh influx, about 18,000 Myanmar nationals are currently taking shelter in different parts of Mizoram,” Lalchamliana said quoting the police record.

He said that state government has so far released Rs. 80 lakh to assist the refugees on humanitarian grounds as the Centre could not directly provide assistance to them.

Six Mizoram districts – Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual- share a 510 km long international border with Myanmar’s Chin state. 

The northeastern state has been facing an influx from Myanmar since late February last year after the military junta seized power through a coup on February 1 that year.

The Myanmar nationals are taking shelter in all the eleven districts with Champhai hosting the highest at 7,810, official sources said.

The sources said that Mizoram southernmost Lawngtlai district hosts the second-highest at 3,761, while a total of 1,916 Myanmar nationals are currently taking shelter in Aizawl district. 

Lunglei district hosts 1,236,  Siaha district (1,103), Hnahthial district (1,732), Serchhip district (347), Kolasib district (123), Saitual district (53), Khawzawl district (64) and Mamit district (244), the sources said.

The Myanmar nationals have been lodged at community halls, schools, relief camps set up by NGOs and villagers while many were also accommodated by their local relatives, it said.

Most of the Myanmar nationals, who fled to Mizoram, belong to the Chin community, who ethnic ties with the Mizos. 

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