26 Delhi-bound Myanmarese nationals held in Guwahati

Guwahati/Aizawl: A total of 26 Delhi-bound Myanmarese nationals, including 10 women, were arrested on Sunday as they arrived in Guwahati from Mizoram, police said.

A police spokesman said that acting on secret information, police arrested the 26 Myanmarese nationals, who include seven teenagers and rest aged 20 to 28, from a private lodge at Rehabari here.

Upon interrogation, it was found that the apprehended foreign citizens belonged to Falam district of Chin state of Myanmar and they were on their way to Delhi to study the Bible. Forged Indian documents including Aadhar cards, and voter identity cards, prepared in Mizoram were seized from them, the spokesman said.

Police have registered a case at the Paltan bazar police station under the Indian Penal Code, the Foreigners Act, and the Passport Act.

According to officials in Aizawl, around 11,500 Myanmarese nationals of Chin stock have taken refuge in 11 districts of Mizoram, whose six districts have an unfenced border with the neighbouring country, since the military coup there on February 1 and few of them have crossed over to neighbouring Manipur too.

The Chin, also known as the Zo, share the same ancestry, ethnicity and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram.

This is believed to be the first case of the Myanmar nationals, sheltered in Mizoram, venturing out of the northeastern states.

Often, Rohingya Muslims from the refugee camps in southeast Bangladesh enter the northeastern states of India illegally in search of jobs or get trapped in human trafficking.