Mizoram CM discuss Myanmar refugee issue with PM

IANS Photo

New Delhi/Aizawl, January 4 (IANS) Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and discussed several issues including the Myanmar refugee issue.

Lalduhoma apprised the Prime Minister that the current border with Myanmar was forced upon the two ethnic groups by the then British government without the prior consent of the people and that it is still unacceptable for people on both sides of the border.

He further stated that the wish of people on both sides of the border was to come under one administration and that the refugees seeking shelter inside Mizoram were not treated differently but as brothers and sisters of the Mizo people.

The Myanmar refugees belong to the Chin-Zo ethnic tribe and have similar ethnic, cultural and traditional ties with the Mizos of Mizoram.

The Chief Minister also extended his wish for a ‘Greater Mizoram’ as part of the ‘Akhand Bharat’.

Lalduhoma also stated in his social media posts that the Prime Minister had advised him to submit a proposal for a better and uniformed system of the Inner Line Permit (ILP).

The ILP, under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, is now being enforced in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

The main aim of the ILP system is to check the settlement of other Indian nationals in these states to protect the native and indigenous population.

Protection is also extended to the indigenous people with regard to land, jobs and other facilities.

The Mizoram Chief Minister on Wednesday met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and discussed the Myanmar refugee issue.

The first influx from Myanmar started after the military toppled the Aung San Suu Kyi Government and seized power in a coup in February 2021.

Since then, over 32,000 people, including women and children, have taken shelter in the northeastern state of India from Myanmar.

Lalduhoma is a former Indian Police Service officer and batchmate (1977) of Jaishankar in the Indian Civil Service.

After meeting him, Jaishankar said on X, “So glad to meet Chief Minister of Mizoram Shri Lalduhoma ji. We began Government service at the same time and trained together. Discussed how MEA and the state government could collaborate more closely.”

The Mizoram Chief Minister on Thursday also held a meeting with Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and discussed the progress of ongoing National Highway projects in the state.

This was Lalduhoma’s first visit to the national Capital after assuming the office of the Chief Minister of Mizoram on December 8.