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Ethnic body of Mizoram seeks refugee status to Myanmarese who fled to India

An organisation representing an ethnic group present in India, Myanmar and Bangladesh on Tuesday carried out a demonstration in Aizawl demanding that the Centre must grant ‘‘refugee status’’ to the Myanmarese people who fled to Mizoram following last month’s military coup in Myanmar.

Mizoram

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  25 March 2021 4:19 AM GMT

The Zo Reunification Organisation has raised the demand. Its members share culture and ancestry with the refugees from Myanmar.

AIZAWL: An organisation representing an ethnic group present in India, Myanmar and Bangladesh on Tuesday carried out a demonstration in Aizawl demanding that the Centre must grant ''refugee status'' to the Myanmarese people who fled to Mizoram following last month's military coup in Myanmar.

The 'Zo Reunification Organisation' (ZORO) has also urged the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) to withdraw its order directing four of the eight north-eastern States -- Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh – bordering Myanmar to guard against the influx of people from that country.

Hundreds of refugees have arrived in Mizoram since the military seized power in Myanmar last month. Mizoram shares a 510-km-long porous border with Myanmar's Chin State, and most of the Myanmarese nationals who have taken refuge in Mizoram belong to the Chin community, which is also known as the Zo community. They share the same ancestry and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram.

"Thousands of people from Bangladesh and other countries have illegally migrated to India in the past. The Central government accepted them as refugees and provided them with asylum. But now it has instructed the four border States of Nrtheast to identify and deport the Myanmarese nationals who have taken refuge in the country," said ZORO president R. Sangkawia while addressing the demonstrators. The Centre is discriminating against the Zo community people, he alleged.

Sangkawia claimed that around 750 people from Myanmar have crossed the international border and entered Mizoram to take refuge. Earlier, the ZORO had urged the Centre to impose sanctions on the military junta-led government of Myanmar.

However, India is not a signatory to the UN Convention on refugees.

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga last week called the Centre's order to prevent illegal immigration from Myanmar and ensure speedy deportation of refugees "not acceptable" and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide them asylum on humanitarian grounds.(Agencies)

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