Verifying reports of 3 Myanmarese cops crossing over to India, says Mizoram
- A Reuters report quoting unnamed officials stated that at least 19 Myanmarese policemen have crossed over to the Indian side through border areas in Serchip and Champhai districts
A team of officials from Mizoram is in the process of verifying reports of three persons crossing over from Myanmar into the state, amid continuing protests and unrest in the neighbouring country following the coup on February 1, said officials.
The men claiming to be policemen, entered Serchhip district bordering Myanmar on Wednesday, said Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana. This is the first time such an incident has been reported since anti-coup protests began in the country.
“These men claim they are policemen. We have sent officials to verify their claims. They are yet to submit a report. It is very likely that the information is true,” Lalchamliana said.
“This is the first such incident of Myanmar nationals entering Mizoram after last month’s coup. Though there are reports of an impending influx of nationals from the country, through the other districts in Mizoram bordering Myanmar, nothing of that sort has happened yet,” he added.
A Reuters report quoting unnamed officials stated that at least 19 Myanmarese policemen have crossed over to the Indian side through border areas in Serchip and Champhai districts. HT can’t independently verify that claim.
Authorities in Mizoram have been bracing for a possible influx of refugees from Myanmar since last month’s coup and the growing civil disobedience against it. The state shares a 510 km border with the neighbouring nation.
In an order issued on Tuesday, the Champhai administration asked people in the district, especially those residing in border areas, to immediately notify any information about Myanmarese nationals entering India seeking shelter.
“If somebody crosses over without the notice of the district administration or village councils in border areas, those persons have to be caught and the local authorities alerted. They have to record entries of people who are not Indian nationals,” Maria CT Zuali, deputy commissioner, Champhai, said over phone.
Once village councils submit reports of any such entry of Myanmar nationals in their areas, the district administration would take action against them in consultation with the Centre.
“We will try and find out if at all the lives of those entering India are threatened in Myanmar. We can decide on these people based on what the Centre says. If permission is not granted to take them in as refugees, they would be deported,” Zuali said.
The DC stated that till date, no Myanmarese nationals have entered the district following the military coup. But there have been some reports of people seeking refugee status.
“We have heard some such reports from a few village councils. We will have a meeting on Thursday on how to treat these illegal migrants. We have to strictly scrutinize each such person and the reason for them trying to enter India. We don’t want any militants trying to sneak in,” she said.