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NGOs plea to Modi over border

Zoramthanga asked for PM's help to prevent influx of migrants

By Debananda Medak in Guwahati
  • Published 14.02.20, 12:19 AM
  • Updated 14.02.20, 12:19 AM
  • a min read
Prime Minister Narendra Modi File picture

In a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, the Chakma civil society organizations of Mizoram appealed to him to immediately seal the 510km Mizoram-Myanmar international borders to prevent influx, smuggling of drugs, arms, and other illegal activities.

The memorandum was jointly submitted by the Chakma 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 of the Chakmas came after Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga during a recent meeting with the Prime Minister asked his help to prevent influx and fight the menace of drugs and arms smuggling into the state.

Talking to this correspondent, All India Chakma Social Forum secretary general Paritosh Chakma said, “According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Myanmar is the second-largest producer of opium poppy in the world after Afghanistan and biggest producer of methamphetamine, an ecstasy drug. The unfenced border and the ‘free movement regime’ between India and Myanmar allow unabated influx, smuggling of drugs, arms and other illegal activities from Myanmar which have left both the Mizoram government and the NGOs deeply worried.”

According to Chakma, all the districts of Mizoram bordering Myanmar have been transit points for illicit drugs and illegal arms movement because of its porous border. “However, drug peddling and human infiltration is more rampant in Champhai, Lawngtlai and Saiha districts,” Chakma said.

The border with Myanmar is still unfenced.