Mizoram CM opposes border fencing along India-Myanmar border
AIZAWL — Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other Union Ministers in Delhi, has reportedly opposed the Centere’s plan to erect fencing along porous Myanmar borders.
A highly-placed official on Friday said that the Chief Minister, during his meeting with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, said that if the Centre constructs border fencing along the Mizoram-Myanmar border, it would amount to acceptance of the blunder committed by the British colonial government which divided the Mizo people living in both India and Myanmar.
“The Mizo people always oppose the proposal to fence the border,” he said.
A former Indian Police Service officer, Lalduhoma, who was a security officer of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was batchmate (1977) of Jaishankar, who was in the Indian Foreign Service.
As per the official, Lalduhoma apprised the Prime Minister and the other ministers that the current border with Myanmar was forced upon the two ethnic groups by the then British government without the prior consent of Mizo people and that it is still unacceptable for people on both sides of the border.
The Chief Minister said that the British had separated the Mizos by carving out the then Burma (now Myanmar) from India and they divided Mizo land into two parts.
“The Mizo people believe the present India-Myanmar border as an imposed boundary and that is why we can’t accept the border.”
Mizoram shares a 510 km unfenced border with Myanmar.
People on both sides of the border are keen to come under one administration as they belong to the same ethnicity, the official cited the Chief Minister telling the Prime Minister and other central ministers.
The Union Home Ministry, through various Central and state agencies, is now erecting fencing along the 4,096-km India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, and Mizoram, and also plans to do the same along the 1,643-km India-Myanmar border in Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.
In fact, it has already started work to fence the border with Manipur.
Besides the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Minister, the Chief Minister also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and discussed various issues including India-Myanmar border and Myanmar refugees.
Laldujhoma also told the PM and other Central ministers that the Myanmar refugees seeking shelter inside Mizoram were not treated differently but as brothers and sisters of the Mizo people. The Myanmar refugees belong to the Chin-Zo ethnic tribe and have similar ethnic, cultural and traditional ties with the Mizos of Mizoram.
The first influx from Myanmar started after the military toppled the Aung San Suu Kyi government and seized power in a coup in February 2021. Since then, over 32,000 people, including women and children, have taken shelter in the northeastern state of India from Myanmar.
This was Lalduhoma’s first visit to the national Capital after assuming the office as Chief Minister on December 8. He is now in Kolkata attending a felicitation function before returning to Aizawl.