Centre on alert as airstrike at Indo-Myanmar border triggers fresh influx of refugees
PTC News Desk: The Central Intelligence agencies are keeping a close eye on the situation in Myanmar, which has resulted in a new influx of refugees in Mizoram.
Following a new airstrike by the Myanmar army in border areas along the Indo-Myanmar border, approximately 5000 people from Myanmar have entered Mizoram.
A senior official confirmed that Mizoram police and central intelligence agencies are closely monitoring the situation. The centre is attempting to determine how many Myanmar nationals have crossed the border.
"Due to difficult terrain of Indo-Myanmar border, it is difficult to stop the influx completely. Assam Riffles Guard the borders but a stretch of around 150 km is very difficult because of its nature and other complexity," an official informed.
According to the official, "after the tension escalated in Myanmar, many Myanmar nationals entered the bordering district Champhai by crossing over International Border. Few injured Myanmar nationals are under treatment at the district hospital in Champhai".
"Local authorities are in touch with these people and they have been assured that they will go back as the situation normalises in Myanmar. We are keeping close watch on the situation in Mizoram. The state was already on high alert due to the recently held elections."
According to Lalbiakthanga Khiangte, Inspector General of Police, Mizoram Police nearly 5000 refugees have crossed into Mizoram from Myanmar.
"Now there are as many as more than 5,000 people took refuge in two Mizoram villages along the Myanmar border," the IGP said, adding that many got injured. As many as about 20 are injured. Eight of them are taken to Aizawl for better medical treatment and the rest are being treated in Champhai. Now it is quite calm but we don't know whether the Myanmar army will attack from the air. We cannot rule out air strike at present if the Myanmar government is willing" the IGP of Mizoram further said.
The Centre had written to the Chief Secretaries of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh in the year 2021, requesting that they "take appropriate action as per law to check illegal influx from Myanmar into India."
Myanmar's military junta is facing its toughest test since taking power in a coup in 2021, according to Reuters, after three ethnic minority forces launched a coordinated offensive in late October, capturing some towns and military posts. Last week, Myanmar's military-installed president warned that the country was on the verge of "breaking apart" due to an ineffective response to the rebellion.
According to Reuters, the new battle will be another setback for the junta, which is already under pressure from mounting armed opposition fuelled by outrage over the coup and crackdown.