The chief minister of Myanmar’s Chin state, Salai Lian Luai, is among 9,247 people who have taken refuge in Mizoram following a military coup in the neighbouring country in February, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.
Chin, a state in Western Myanmar, shares its Western border with Mizoram.
“The Chin state chief minister crossed the international border and entered Champhai town on Monday night,” the officer told PTI on condition of anonymity.
He said that 24 lawmakers, including Luai, of Aung San Suu Kyis party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), have taken shelter in different parts of Mizoram. The Myanmarese nationals are provided with shelter and food by civil society organisations and student bodies, while many are sheltered by the locals, the senior police officer said.
A large section of those who have taken refuge in the state belong to the Chin, also known as the Zo community.
They share the same ancestry and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram.
The data of Mizoram police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID) showed on Tuesday that a total of 9,247 people of Myanmar are currently staying in at least 10 districts of the state with Champhai housing the largest number at 4,156.
Of the 9,247 Myanmarese nationals, details of 8,683 have been collected while those of 564 people are yet to be recorded, the police officer said.
According to the data, 1,633 people have taken refuge in the state capital Aizawl, 1,297 in Lawngtlai district, 633 in Siaha district, 478 in Hnahthial district, 167 in Lunglei district, 143 in Serchhip district, 112 in Saitual district, 36 in Kolasib district and 28 in Khawzawl district.
Six Mizoram districts – Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual – share a 510 km long international border with Myanmar.
Meanwhile, Assam Rifles sources said that attempts were being made by the Myanmarese nationals on several occasions to cross the international border.
While many of them were prevented from entering the Indian territory, others managed to sneak into it through other routes, the sources said.