Indian Border Government Issues ID Cards to Myanmar Refugees

By The Irrawaddy 17 June 2022

The Indian border state of Mizoram is issuing identity cards to nearly 30,000 refugees from Myanmar who have fled military rule.

“These are temporary identity cards that include the name, age, place of origin and their current residence. We have issued the cards for the safety of the refugees as well as easier identification,” Mizoram’s home affairs minister Lalchamliana told the Indian Express.

He said numerous cards had already been issued to refugees over the past two months. They are valid only in Mizoram.

Mizoram shares a 510km border with Chin State and ethnic groups have long straddled the international frontier.

Since the 2021 coup, Chin State has been a key battleground against military rule. Numerous activists and members of the National League for Democracy have fled to Thailand and India.

According to the Indian Express, around 15,000 Chin State residents crossed into Mizoram in July and August last year and another surge followed fresh violence in January and February this year.

Two military groups, the Chinland Defence Force and Chin National Defence Force, were formed last year to fight the regime.

The Chin National Army was established in 1988, demanding greater autonomy for Chin communities. Since the coup, it has fought alongside the civilian National Unity Government against the regime.

The regime has burned down numerous homes and churches in Chin State.

More junta reinforcements have arrived in Chin State and neighboring Magwe Region by air and land this month, raising fears of further clashes.

Indra Mani Pandey, India’s permanent United Nations representative, said at a discussion on the crisis that the long border with Myanmar was threatening instability in eastern India.

India has called on the junta to respect human rights and allow democracy to be established.

Pandey said: “India emphasized its interest in seeing Myanmar’s return to democracy at the earliest; release of detainees and prisoners; resolution of issues through mutual dialogue, and complete cessation of all violence.

“We have concerns over violence perpetrated by any side. Peaceful dialogue and reconciliation involving all stakeholders is the only way forward,” he added.

“Progress must be made on humanitarian assistance for the population in need. We also call for a credible political process with the participation of all stakeholders. India will work towards facilitating that larger objective,” Pandey said.

He pledged Indian development and humanitarian aid.

No regime representative was invited to the 24th ASEAN-India gathering currently taking place in New Delhi.