GUWAHATI: Myanmar has written to the authorities in Mizoram requesting the state to detain and hand over eight “Myanmar police personnel who were runaway towards Indian territory."
Mizoram’s Champhai District Magistrate Maria CT Zuali confirmed having received a letter from Myanmar’s Falam district counterpart, Saw Htun Win.
The letter, dated March 5, reads: “In order to uphold friendly relations between the two neighbor countries, you are kindly requested to detain 8 Myanmar police personnel who had arrived in Indian territories and hand over to Myanmar.”
The letter had the names of four cops -- a lieutenant corporal and three constables. One of them is a 25-year-old woman. Zuali said she had intimated the state government.
Official sources said 15 people had arrived from Myanmar over the past few days. However, locals claimed more than 50 Myanmar nationals, including civilians, had arrived.
India shares a 1,643 km land border with Myanmar. People from Myanmar’s Chin community and the Mizos in India belong to the Zo ethnic group and they share the same ancestry. The Chin people are settled in Myanmar’s Chin State, which shares a 404 km porous border with Mizoram.
Claiming that the people have been affected by the civil unrest in Myanmar, the Mizo Students’ Union in Mizoram recently appealed to the state government seeking political asylum for them. But the government said it did not receive any request for asylum.
“Even if there is a request and we make a decision, it has to be ratified by the Government of India since the issue concerns two countries,” Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana had said.
In February, the Chin National Army, which is a Chin nationalist insurgent group in Myanmar, had approached village authorities in Champhai seeking shelter for the Chin people. The matter was subsequently brought to the notice of the state government.
Over the past 40 years, thousands of Chin people migrated to Mizoram and made it their home.