Chakma bodies urge PM Modi to check illegal migration

Mizoram: Chakma bodies urge PM Modi for sealing India-Myanmar border to check illegal migration, smuggling

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo)

At least six organisations representing the Chakma community in Mizoram have moved Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a request to seal the entire 510-km-long India-Myanmar border in the state to check illegal migration and smuggling of arms and drugs.

"The open unfenced border and the Free Movement Regime between India and Myanmar allows unabated influx of foreigners, smuggling of drugs, arms, and other illegal activities from Myanmar which have left both the Mizoram government and the NGOs deeply worried. Cases of seizure of drugs and arms, in huge quantities, by the security forces and narcotics officials of Mizoram are regularly reported. Easy accessibility of drugs has destroyed the lives of thousands of people in Mizoram”, a joint statement issued by the Chakma NGOs said on Thursday.

The memorandum was submitted to the PM by five NGOs, Central Young Chakma Association, Chakma Mahila Samiti, Central Mizoram Chakma Students Union, All India Chakma Social Forum, and Chakma National Council of India, and the National People’s Party, Chakma district, a political party. 

The demand came after Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, during a recent meeting with Modi sought his help to prevent influx of foreigners and smuggling of drugs and arms.

Unlike the almost totally fenced borders with Bangladesh, Mizoram has an open unfenced border with Myanmar. The Free Movement Regime (FMR) between India and Myanmar allows Myanmarese nationals to enter up to 16 km into Mizoram’s territory without any visa restrictions and this has facilitated illegal entry and settlement of foreigners in Mizoram. "Every day children in the border areas in the Chin state of Myanmar attend schools during the day in Mizoram and return to their homes in Myanmar by the evening. All these students and their relatives over a period of time will become Indian citizens. As no visa is required they can come freely," said the NGOs.

Further, thousands of Chins had sought refuge in Mizoram after the 1988 pro-democracy uprising in Myanmar. They were housed in camps at Champhai and although the camps were closed down in 1995, the Chins did not return to Myanmar and settled in various parts of Mizoram, said the statement issued by the Chakma organisations.

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