India tightens border security after 20 from Myanmar cross over
Publish- March 05, 2021, 08:57 PM
S Kumar - UNB Delhi Correspondent
Anti-coup protesters discharge fire extinguishers to counter the impact of the tear gas fired by police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar Thursday, March 4, 2021. Photo: AP
India has tightened security in its northeastern states bordering Myanmar in view of people escaping the turmoil in that country after the recent military coup.
India shares a long land border of more than 1,600 km with Myanmar as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Four northeastern Indian states -- Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram -- share an international boundary with Myanmar.
Quoting senior government officials, local media reports said that at least 20 people, including some security forces personnel, have crossed over to Mizoram's Lungkawlh village from Myanmar since March 3.
“They have been put up at a community hall in Lungkawlh village -- some 8 km from Myanmar -- after the mandatory Covid-19 tests,” local administration chief Abhishek Kumar told The Hindu newspaper.
"We are providing food and shelter to the people. We have also sent a report to the Home Department and are awaiting instructions on what to do with the refugees. However, we cannot confirm right now whether or not some of the refugees are policemen," he added.
A senior police official told UNB over the phone from Mizoram that security has been tightened in the districts bordering Myanmar. "We are not taking chances and have raised vigil to ensure that militant groups don't intrude into this country," he said.
According to him, Manipur, another state, has also increased vigilance along the border areas. In 2015, the Indian Army attacked rebel camps inside Myanmar, days after at least 20 of its soldiers were killed in an ambush on a troop convoy in Manipur.
Since the February 1 military coup, Myanmar has been rocked by mass protests. Some 54 people have been killed by security forces in the protests so far, according to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Wednesday was the bloodiest day since the coup, with 38 protesters killed across the country. Among them was a 19-year-old youth.
Last month, India expressed “deep concern” at the military coup. “India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld,” the Foreign Ministry said.