The regional party MNF government in Mizoram has instructed Myanmar nationals, who have been taking shelter in the state following coup in their country in 2001, not to purchase land and run businesses without prior permission from the state authorities.
Sources said the Aizawl district administration said that no refugees from Myanmar should purchase land or house without the knowledge and prior permission from the state government. The state home department instructed the Deputy Commissioners to issue the notifications.
One such order was issued by Aizawl District Task Group on Myanmar nationals.
The order also says that Myanmar citizens now residing in Mizoram should not get involved in any illegal business (like smuggling etc.) and also that they should inform about their vehicles ‘brought from Myanmar’ to the local or village level committees concerned with Myanmar refugees.
An estimated 10,000 people fleeing violence-hit Myanmar have sought shelter in the Champai district.
Over 30,000 Myanmar people including many children have taken shelter in Christian-majority Mizoram since February 2021 when in the Myanmar military launched a coup that deposed the elected government.
The ‘Myanmar people’ who have not yet declared as refugees by the centre officially have also also directed not to enroll themselves for Aadhaar cards, state voter list, or obtain a driving license, among others.
The state government also instructed all local or village level committees to ensure that the order is strictly implemented and report to the chairman of the district task group on Myanmar refugees in case of violation of the order.
Home minister Lalchamliana had recently informed the state assembly that 30,401 Myanmar nationals have so far taken shelter in Mizoram since. Mizoram shares a 510 km long porous border with Myanmar.
The Myanmar nationals, who have crossed over are mostly from Chin communities who share ethnicity local Mizos.
About 150 relief camps have been set up in different parts of the state.
The Myanmar nationals are provided with food and other relief by the state government, NGOs, churches and village authorities.
The state government has so far provided Rs 380 lakh as relief to the Myanmar nationals.
Last year, MNF chief and Chief Minister Zoramthanga urged the Centre to provide humanitarian assistance to the Myanmar refugees.
Sources in the Mizoram Home Department said the state’s 11 districts have been asked to issue ‘identity cards to Myanmar nationals’ living within the Indian territory since February 2021.
“The exercise is to help provide relief materials. The identity cards will actually segregate them from the natives. The foreigners will not get other citizenship rights like voting, but they can avail themselves of health facilities and their children can study in specially arranged makeshift schools,” an official told ‘Organiser’.
Most people who crossed over to Mizoram are Christians and have ethnic affinities with native tribes in Mizoram state.
Church leaders recently said the newborn babies of recent arrivals will be treated as Christians for all practical purposes but cannot get any document issued for their baptism.
Observers say more people could cross over to India amid increased armed clashes between the Myanmar army and the Chinland Defence Force and Chin National Army.