The increasing violence in Manipur has resulted in refugees moving to Mizoram for safety.
Since May 3, Manipur has seen racial conflict, with the majority of the conflicts occurring between the Meitei community and the Kuki community
Following aggression in the state over the past few weeks, Mizoram, which already hosts refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh, has taken in about 8,000 Manipur refugees, mostly Kukis. Mizoram is working to make sure it takes proper care of the newcomers without jeopardising its own interests and India’s safety.
In addition to being home to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo ethnic group, which has close cultural and lingual ties with the inhabitants of the Chin Hills in Myanmar, the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh, and the Kukis in Manipur, Mizoram also shares borders with Manipur, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. As a result, it has grown to be a popular destination for people escaping acts of violence, oppression and unsteadiness.
In accordance with state government records, more than 40,000 citizens of Myanmar, 700 citizens of Bangladesh, and about 8000 citizens of Manipur have sought refuge in Mizoram.
The Mizoram government has defied strict directives from the Union home ministry not to accept any refugees and has been outspoken in its support of Bangladeshi nationals who arrived in the state after fighting between the Bangladesh Army and the Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA) erupted in October of last year as well as Myanmarese refugees who began to arrive in large numbers after a military assassination of February 2021.
Image courtesy: The telegraph
The state has spent more than 38 crore rupees on the Bangladeshi and Myanmarese refugees, according to State Home Department officials. Also offering assistance across are NGOs. For instance, the president of the Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), R. Lalngheta, stated that the NGO spent 57 lakh rupees to support Myanmar refugees and 31 lakh rupees to support Bangladeshi refugees.
It is security, not money, that is the actual problem. The state government has been requested to stop unauthorised migration and deport people without proper documentation because India has not yet formally recognised Myanmar or Bangladesh refugees. To stop a further surge of illegal immigrants, drugs, and other contraband products, Assam Rifles, which is patrolling the Indo-Myanmar border, aims to expand and reinforce security along the border.
Although CYMA’s Lalngheta disputes assertions that Mizoram’s flood of refugees has increased drug trafficking and criminal activity, an Assam Rifles official declared: “We must strengthen security along the Myanmar border to avoid the arrival of illegal migrants into Mizoram.” The state’s ability to maintain law and order can be seriously hampered by these unauthorised inflows, which have also increased drug and weapon smuggling
image courtesy: Indian express
Additionally, the Assam Rifles alleges that three illicit bridges have been built along the India-Myanmar border, including a hanging bridge over the Tiau River near the villages of Lungkawlh, Ngharchhip, and Thekte. Under the condition of anonymity, an Assam Rifles official continued, “Many prohibited immigrants who have infiltrated from Bangladesh and Myanmar have managed to obtain bogus identification cards. They’ve even been able to leave the state, and one of them was just caught in Bengaluru using a bogus ID. The events in Manipur have increased Mizoram’s concern for refugees.
Since May 3, Manipur has seen racial conflict, with the majority of the conflicts occurring between the Meitei community, which renders the overall majority of the state’s population and is mostly concentrated in Imphal, and the Kuki community, which makes up 16% of the state’s population and is primarily concentrated in the state’s hill regions. Ethnic conflict between the Meiteis, the main group in Imphal Valley, and the tribal Kukis, who mostly live in hill districts, has resulted in at least 80 deaths and 40,000 displacements.
The NGO Coordination Committee of Mizoram confronted with the Union Home Minister on May 15 and presented a memorandum requesting for the involvement of the Central government to stop the Manipur Government from aiming to transform the tribal land into forest reserves and to restore peace in the area after K. Vanlalvena, Mizoram’s lone Rajya Sabha MP, wrote to him and appealed for the Central Government’s immediate assistance to put a swift end to it.