Mizoram govt. yet to receive Centre’s directions on Myanmar refugee crisis — Official
Aizawl, April 5 (PTI): Three days after Home Minister Amit Shah stated that the Centre would give food and medicines to the Myanmar nationals who have taken refuge in India, a senior official here said on Monday that the Mizoram government was yet to receive any “clear-cut direction” in the matter.
The official, who did not wish to be named, told PTI that the Mizoram government was still waiting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply to a letter sent by Chief Minister Zoramthanga on March 18, stressing that his dispensation “cannot remain indifferent” to the plight of Myanmar nationals, especially those from the Chin community, as they share the same ancestry with the Mizos.
“As far as refugees from Myanmar are concerned, there has been no development… The Centre is yet to respond to the CM’s letter,” the official said, adding that the immigrants are being provided assistance on “humanitarian grounds”.
Shah, during an interview with India Today TV, had said that the Union government is ready to help the people of Myanmar with ration and medical supplies but won’t encourage illegal infiltration.
He also said that there is a limit to what India can do “because there is a boundary” between the two countries.
“India has spoken to the Myanmar government and asked it to look after its citizens. We have also said we are ready to help in case there is a need for food and medicines,” the home minister had said.
Zoramthanga had shot a letter to Modi in March, stressing that India should not be turning a blind eye to the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.
In his letter, the chief minister also said that an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), asking four northeastern states, including Mizoram, to identify Myanmar nationals and deport them was “not acceptable” to Mizoram.
He urged the Centre to provide food and shelter to the refugees, who fled Myanmar — which is currently in the grip of anti-coup protests and clashes.
In his address to the people of Mizoram on March 5, Zoramthanga had said that the Myanmar refugees would be provided relief and his government had already allocated fund for the purpose.
The CM, on a past occasion, had told reporters that his government will ask the Centre to change its foreign policy on Myanmar.
Meanwhile, a police officer told PTI that at least 1,402 people from Myanmar have crossed over to Mizoram in the wake of Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in the neighbouring country, triggered by February’s military coup.
He also said that majority of the refugees live in Champhai district and many of them have been given shelter by locals.
More than 200 Myanmar nationals have taken refuge in Aizawl, of which 101 are now camping at a community housing complex, while the rest live with their relatives, he added.