News Desk

Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), the apex student body in the State, has condemned Chakma organizations for demanding the Government to seal Mizoram’s international border with Myanmar after Chakma NGOs had submitted a joint memorandum to the PM demanding sealing of the border. Now, Chakma NGOs, in their rebuttal, have claimed that since drugs worth Rs 100 crore has seeped into Mizoram, potentially from Myanmar, it would make sense to shut the border.

In response to the media statement of the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (Mizo Students Association) that the Chakma NGOs of Mizoram had asked for sealing of the Mizoram-Myanmar border out of “envy of the good relations between the Mizoram and Myanmar people”, the Chakma NGOs in an open letter to the MZP today stated that in the last fifteen days drugs over Rs 100 Crore smuggled from Myanmar have been seized by the authorities in Mizoram and 134 drug peddlers/smugglers have been arrested.

[The drugs seized by the Mizoram authorities included 39 lakh tablets of methamphetamine weighing 429 kg & worth Rs 97.5 crore seized on 29 February 2020; 99,600 Methamphetamine tablets worth Rs 2.4 crore seized on 13 February 2020; and 137 gm of heroin worth Rs 3 lakh seized on 18 February 2020]

“The seized drugs are only a small segment of all the drugs smuggled from Myanmar through the porous borders”, stated Mr Paritosh Chakma, President of the Mizoram Chakma Alliance Against Discrimination (MCAAD), speaking on behalf of the Chakma NGOs of Mizoram.

The Chakma NGOs have also pointed out that on 25 February 2020, Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana informed the Assembly that a total of 632 arms and 47,510 rounds of live ammunition have been seized by the state police since 2004, smuggled into the state mostly from Myanmar. 32 armed smugglers were arrested, of whom 12 were Myanmarese nationals. The seized arms included 134 AK-47 rifles, 8 AK-56 rifles and 26 Light Machine Guns, among others.

The Chakma bodies have also argued that the Free Movement Regime has been admitted by Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh in an interview with national newsmagazine The Week, in October 2019 who stated that “it is very difficult to identify and check Myanmarese citizens because of their ethnic similarities with our people.”

On 4 March 2020, in a statement to the media, MZP Vice President Peter Chhangte had alleged that Chakma NGOs had demanded to seal the Mizoram-Myanmar border “to create a disorder between both sides” and out of “envy of the good relations between the Mizoram and Myanmar people”.

On friendly relations with neighbouring countries, the Chakma NGOs stated, “The friendly relation with Bangladesh is so cordial that on 2 March 2020, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla assured the Government of Bangladesh that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam will have zero implication for Bangladesh which means that not a single NRC excluded person shall be repatriated to Bangladesh.”

“If India’s border with Bangladesh can be fenced, the border with Myanmar should also be fenced to prevent unabated smuggling of drugs, arms and influx of foreigners. This is only in the shared interest of the people of India and Myanmar”, the Chakmas said.

Reference: Insidene.