India on Wednesday said it has “direct stakes in the maintenance of peace and stability in Myanmar”, and added that the recent developments since the military coup in the country last month, were of “deep concern” to it.

“India has urged that the rule of law and democratic process be upheld and called upon the Myanmar leadership to work together to resolve their differences in a peaceful and constructive manner,” Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in a written reply in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.

Responding to a question on whether India’s stand on Myanmar will be affected due to strained relations with China, the minister said that it was not the case. “India’s relationship with Myanmar remains independent of its relationship with third countries,” he said.

Muraleedharan’s response assumes significance amid reports that around 100 people, primarily police officers and their families, have fled Myanmar to India since the protests began. The development likely took place after the police in the country were allegedly instructed to shoot at protestors “till they are dead”.

Amid the situation, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga had said that while his government would make temporary arrangements of food and shelter for those fleeing Myanmar, repatriation was awaited from the Centre. “There is no proper instruction from the Centre, and it is not fair,” Mizoram’s Environment and Transport Minister TJ Lalnungtluanga told The Hindu on Tuesday. “I am ready to help the people in my individual capacity and from the government on humanitarian grounds.”

Military coup in Myanmar

The military coup in Myanmar followed the landslide victory of the National League for Democracy and Suu Kyi in the national elections in November, with the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party faring poorly in its key strongholds.

The country’s military refused to accept the government, citing unsubstantiated allegations of fraud. It was also announced that the coup was the result of the government’s failure to delay the November election despite the outbreak of the coronavirus.

However, Myanmar’s Army chief General Min Aung Hlaing said on February 8 that “free and fair” elections will be held after the completion of the emergency period, and the military will hand over power to the winner.