Aizawl, September 13: As the influx continues, the number of refugees from Myanmar taking shelter in Mizoram after the coup has risen up to around 11,000.
District administrations said, “around 150 to 160 people, including women and children, took shelter in Mizoram’s Champhai, Lawngtlai and Hnahthial districts bordering Myanmar during the past few days.”
Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana told reporters that if the attacks and counter-attacks by the Myanmar military and the opposition forces continue, more people are likely to come into Mizoram for shelter.
Most of the refugees from Myanmar have been provided makeshift shelters by various local NGOs. They are provided them food, medicines, and other basic necessities on humanitarian grounds, while several others are living with their relatives.
“The district administrations are unable to help the immigrants formally as they are yet to be granted refugee status by the government or international agencies,” the officials added.
Sounds of fierce gunfights and bursting shells and other firearms between the cadres of anti-coup NUG and the Myanmar army could be heard from the villages bordering Myanmar.
According to the officials of the Crime Investigation Department (CID), which maintains the data of Myanmarese refugees, around 11,000 refugees, including about 20 legislators, have taken shelter in Mizoram’s 11 districts since March this year.
The Champhai district along the India-Myanmar border is currently sheltering 4,550 refugees, the highest, followed by Aizawl district where 1,700 refugees have taken shelter.
A majority of those who have taken shelter in the bordering state belong to the Chin community, also known as the Zo community, who share the same ancestry, ethnicity, and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram.