IRAC demands protection and other basic facilities to refugees from Myanmar who have fled to NE India

On 20 May 2021, the Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking protection, shelter, food and other basic facilities and vaccination against COVID19 to thousands of refugees from Myanmar, belonging to minority indigenous communities, who have fled to Indian states in the Northeast following military coup in Myanmar . As of 20 May 2021, around 15,500 refugees have entered into Mizoram which shares border with Myanmar. These refugees are indigenous peoples mostly belonging to Chin community who have deep kinship relations with Mizos/Kukis of Mizoram and Manipur. While Mizoram government has been sympathetic to the refugees, the same is not the case with the state government of Manipur and the Government of India. Earlier in March 2021, the Ministry of Home Affairs asked the Chief secretaries of Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, which share borders with Myanmar, to prevent “illegal influx” of people from Myanmar and not to grant refugee status to any foreigner. In the last week of March 2021, the Manipur government issued orders not to set up any camp for the refugees and to turn them away but after huge public backlash, had to withdraw the order.

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