The Chief Minister of Myanmar’s Chin state – Salai Lian Luai – has taken shelter in Mizoram following the military coup in that country, sources in the state Home Department said Wednesday.
Sources said Salai Lian Luai, who was appointed to his post in 2016, crossed over to India on Monday night via the border town of Champai, which is around 185 km from state capital Aizwal.
The Chin state in western Myanmar shares a 510 km western border with six districts in Mizoram Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual. It also shares its northern with Manipur and its southwest with Bangladesh.
Since the coup – which took place early February – 9,247 Myanmar nationals have entered Mizoram in search of shelter.
They include Salai Lian Luai and 23 other lawmakers from the NLD, or National League for Democracy, which is former State Counsellor and Foreign Affairs Minister Aung San Suu Kyi’s party.
A Home Department official, on condition of anonymity, said the 24 lawmakers had taken shelter in different districts of the state, specially those on the Myanmar border.
According to available data, 1,633 people have taken refuge in Aizawl, 1,297 in Lawngtlai district, 633 in Siaha district, 478 in Hnahthial district, 167 in Lunglei district, 143 in Serchhip district, 112 in Saitual district, 36 in Kolasib district and 28 in Khawzawl district.
The official also said they were being provided with shelter and food by civil society, student and youth organisations, and NGOs. Many have also been offered sheltered by locals, the official added.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said Tuesday that his government had also sanctioned money to provide relief to those who had taken refuge in his state. The money will be released very soon, he said, according to news agency PTI.
A majority of those who have sought shelter in Mizoram belong to the Chin community, which is also known as Zo and they share the same ancestry, ethnicity and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram.
With input from PTI