Mizoram faces refugee influx
Imphal: Mizoram, which has become home around 8,000 refugees from neighbouring Manipur, mostly Kukis, over the past few weeks following violence in that state, and which is also home to refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh is working to ensure it takes care of the newcomers without compromising its own interests and India’s security concerns.
Mizoram shares a 95-km long border with Manipur, a 722-km border with Myanmar, and a 318-km border with Bangladesh; it is also home to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo ethnic group, which has close cultural and linguistic ties with the people of the Chin Hills in Myanmar, the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh, and the Kukis in Manipur; and it has now become a natural destination for people fleeing violence, persecution and instability.
According to state government records, there are over 40,000 Myanmar nationals, 700 Bangladesh nationals, and around 8000 people from Manipur who have taken shelter in Mizoram.
The Mizoram government has ignored the Union home ministry’s strict orders against hosting any refugees, and been vocal in its support of Myanmarese refugees who started streaming in after the military coup of February 2021, and the Bangladesh nationals who came to the state after clashes between the Bangladesh Army and the Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA) began in October last year.