Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana on Monday said the state government is still waiting for a “direction” from the Centre as regard Myanmar refugees, who fled their country and crossed over into the Indian territory, following the military coup in the neighboring country in February.
He informed the state assembly that people from Myanmar start entering Mizoram due to the present political situation in the neighboring country.
“As the foreigner issue is solely the Centre’s subject, we are waiting for a direction from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs,” Lalchamliana said.
However, immediate relief will be provided to refugees, who entered the state due to humanitarian crisis and future assistance will be given as per the Centre’s directive, he said.
He said that a detailed record of the identities and other particulars of the Myanmar nationals, who enter Mizoram due to humanitarian crisis, will be prepared.
According to the home minister, four northeastern states- Mizoram (510 km), Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Manipur (398 km) and Nagaland (215 km)- share a 1,643 km international border with Myanmar.
Apart from Mizoram, the three other northeastern states were also believed to face refugee influx from Myanmar due to the present political scenario triggered by last month’s military coup in the neighbouring country, he said.
He said that India is not bound by the legal obligations to protect refugees as it is not a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 protocol.
Fleeing persecution several people from Myanmar, including some policemen, have crossed the Indian border and are currently taking refuge in Mizoram, following last month’s military coup in the Southeast Asian country.
A top police official said on Monday that more than 100 Myanmar nationals have so far entered Mizoram since late February.
The exact figure of the refugees could not be ascertained now as some people are living with the locals (Mizos) and Myanmar’s Chin people, who already settled in Mizoram, he said.
Earlier on March 5, the Myanmar government had asked Mizoram’s Champhai district administration to return eight Myanmar policemen, who apparently fled their country to take refuge in Mizoram.
An official of the Mizoram home department said that they have informed the matter to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the state government is waiting for a “direction” from the Centre.