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regular-article-logo Thursday, 29 February 2024

Will meet Amit Shah, S Jaishankar over refugees issue: Mizoram chief minister designate Lalduhoma

Around 44,000 people from Myanmar and Bangladesh and Manipur have taken shelter in Mizoram due to several problems including ethnic strife

PTI Aizawl Published 06.12.23, 03:12 PM
Lalduhoma

Lalduhoma File picture

Lalduhoma, chief minister-designate of Mizoram, on Wednesday said he will soon meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to discuss the issue of refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh, and internally displaced people from Manipur.

Around 44,000 people from the two neighbouring countries and state have taken shelter in Mizoram due to several problems including ethnic strife.

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Lalduhoma, the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) leader, called on Governor Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati at Raj Bhavan and staked claim to form the new government following his party's victory in the assembly polls. His government is likely to take oath on Friday.

"I have telephonic conversations with the Home Minister and External Affairs Minister on Tuesday. I will soon meet them in Delhi to discuss how the Centre and the state government can work together to look after the refugees and displaced people," Lalduhoma told reporters after meeting the governor.

The 73-year ZPM leader said his government will continue to provide shelter to the refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh and displaced people from Manipur on humanitarian grounds.

He said that his government will also see if it can provide better relief to them compared to that by the outgoing MNF government.

The ZPM dethroned Zoramthanga-led Mizo National Front (MNF) on Monday, bagging 27 of the total 40 assembly seats.

Lalduhoma, an ex-IPS officer who had served as the security in charge of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, said that he would discuss the country's policy towards refugees from Myanmar with Jaishankar, who is his civil service batchmate.

He expressed hope that the Centre will extend help to the state government to look after the Myanmar refugees as it is a humanitarian issue.

More than 31,300 Myanmar nationals and over 1,100 Bangladeshi nationals are currently in Mizoram, according to the state home department.

These Myanmar nationals belonging to the Chin community, who share ethnic ties with Mizos, have taken shelter since February 2021 following a military coup in the neighbouring country. The Bawm or Mizo community from Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts, who fled gunfights between the Bangladesh army and an ethnic insurgent group, fled to the northeastern state from November last year.

Besides, nearly 12,000 internally displaced people from Manipur have taken refuge in different parts of Mizoram since May this year due to ethnic clashes.

The outgoing MNF government had in May urged the Centre to provide financial assistance to the tune of Rs 10 crore for the internally displaced people from Manipur. In September, the Centre told the state government that it would assist it in kind.

However, no assistance has come till now, according to a home department official.

The official said that the state government disbursed Rs 5 crore from its exchequer and received over Rs 80 lakh from donations by government employees for assisting the internally displaced people.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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