Home Minister: 38 Burmese Nationals Deported from Mizoram
9 June 2009: Over three dozen ‘illegal migrants’ from Burma have been deported from Mizoram and handed over to the Burmese military across the border, according to a local daily Vanglaini on Monday.
Mizoram State Home Minister R. Lalzirliana said: “There are people here who are engaged in the pro-democracy struggle in Burma and India has a sympathetic policy towards them. But there will be no mercy for those who came here and engaged in illegal activities. We will continue to deport those who caused us trouble here.”
A total of 40 people were set to be deported due to their illegal activities but only 38 of them were actually handed over to the Burmese military across the border after two persons were found to possess some sort of legal permit, the Home Minister was quoted as saying.
The Minister did not elaborate on the ‘illegal activities’ the deportees were accused of involving.
It is also unclear if the Minister was referring to a deportation that took place in May in which 41 Chins were reportedly handed over across the border. Aizawl Superintendent of Police was quoted as saying that the deportees, mostly menial laborers, were arrested for not having valid permits to work and stay in India.
Mizoram has recently stepped up a campaign to arrest undocumented migrants, mostly ethnic Chins from Burma, after a new State Government came to power in a sweeping electoral victory in December 2008.
Mizoram is home to an estimated 70,000 to 10, 0000 Chin refugees and undocumented migrants, according to Human Rights Watch.