Aizawl: With around 30,500 Myanmarese sheltered in Mizoram since the military junta seized power in their country in February last year, the state has witnessed massive smuggling activities like drugs, foreign cigarettes, gold, dried areca nuts, exotic animals and other contraband from Myanmar.
Besides the illegal trade, job rackets are also duping Indians while the Myanmar refugees are trying to do petty business and purchase land, forcing the state government and other authorities to take strict action.
Assam Rifles, which guards Mizoram’s 510 km long unfenced international border with Myanmar, nabbed 20 Myanmar nationals this year in various anti-smuggling crackdown while the Mizoram police also arrested many Myanmarese for their involvement in the illicit trade.
To deal with the situation, Assam Rifles recently held a meeting with the influential NGOs of Mizoram and urged them to be proactive to curb the rising illegal activities involving Myanmar nationals.
An Assam Rifles official said that various avenues of cooperation between the armed forces and the common people were highlighted in the conclave which also expressed concern about the recent increasing trend of smuggling narcotics.
“Increased number of Myanmar nationals involved in narcotics smuggling in Mizoram causing concern as Myanmarese being allured by the drug syndicate and kingpins to earn money easily. They are vulnerable targets for such illegal activities.
“This grave misutilisation of Myanmar nationals requires immediate attention for which NGOs’ support was required,” the Assam Rifles official said.
He said that another issue of grave concern is the awarding of the locals’ land to Myanmar nationals and establishing daily utility shops by Myanmar nationals which in the long run can affect the economy and livelihood of the local populace and the state.
“Some of the Myanmar nationals were even found with Indian voter ID and Aadhaar cards.”
Assam Rifles IG (East) Major General Nambiar told the NGOs at the conclave that Mizoram society requires to be guided in the right direction.
He assured the NGOs of all help from Assam Rifles for the bright future of the people of Mizoram.
The meeting was attended by the office bearers of Young Mizo Association, Mizo Zirlai Pawl, Mizo Students Union, Mizoram Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl and Mizoram Football Association who expressed their support.
The alarming increase in smuggling activities involving Myanmarese in Mizoram has also prompted the CYMA to form a Central Anti-Drug Squad (CADS) recently to deal with it.
The Mizoram government has recently instructed the Myanmar refugees, presently taking shelter in all the 11 districts of the state, not to purchase land, houses or run a business without prior permission from the state government.
The government order has come after several reports that the Myanmar migrants are trying to purchase land, open small shops and run small businesses in the districts along the Myanmar border.