The Centre has reportedly directed Assam Rifles to prevent Myanmar nationals from crossing the border and enter into Indian territory.

The Union home ministry asked the Assam Rifles, which guards the India-Myanmar border in the Northeast, to push back any found attempting to cross over.

The MHA reported told the Assam Rifles that no Myanmar national should be allowed to enter India without a valid visa or travel permit.

The order follows the considerable embarrassment now faced by New Delhi after Myanmar officially asked for the immediate return of eight policemen who had crossed over and sought shelter in Mizoram.

The policemen told state authorities that they were hounded down by the army after they refused to open fire on peaceful demonstrators in the Chin state.

Over 100 refugees, including several policemen – mainly from the neighbouring Chin state– have reportedly crossed the 404-km international border and entered Mizoram during the last few days after the February 1 military takeover in Myanmar.

The Mizoram Home Department confirmed that at least 16 Myanmar nationals, including some policemen, have crossed over into the state.

During the 1988 uprising and the massacre of thousands that rocked Myanmar, India opened its borders to those fleeing the crackdown.

Thousands of Myanmarese, including MPs, entered Manipur and Mizoram and many of them reached Delhi and secured UNHCR refugee cards.

The then Rajiv Gandhi government decided to back and even fund the Burmese provisional government in exile.

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