The Mizoram government will provide food and shelter to 272 members of the Chin-Kuki community who have fled from Bangladesh, The Economic Times reported on Wednesday.
The members of the community entered the Lawngtlai district of Mizoram on Sunday to escape the conflict between the Bangladesh Army and the insurgent group Kuki Chin National Army, or the KNA. The insurgent group seeks a separate state for the community in Bangladesh.
A senior government official told The Hindu that the group, which included 25 infants and 60 women, approached Border Security Force personnel on November 20, and were permitted to cross over into India.
“They were without any belongings and were allowed to enter India on humanitarian grounds,” the official said.
The Mizoram government has said that the group will be treated on the same lines as over 40,000 refugees from Myanmar who have entered the state after a military coup in the neighbouring country in February 2021. Four schools have been turned into shelters for them.
An official told The Indian Express that the place where the group has been housed is nearly 200 kilometres away from the headquarters of the Lawngtlai district.
In March 2021, the Union home ministry had written to Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh directing them to be vigilant against the influx of people from Myanmar.
The ministry had also said that states and Union Territories had no powers to grant “refugee” status to any foreigner and that India was not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol. However, the four states were told to make exceptions in cases “absolutely essential on humanitarian grounds”.