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SOURCE: PTI

The Mizoram government has instructed Myanmar nationals, currently taking shelter in the state, not to purchase land and run businesses without prior permission from the state government. An order issued by the Aizawl district administration recently said that no refugees from Myanmar should purchase land or house without the knowledge and prior permission from the state government.

The order also said that Myanmar refugees should not run any business without the permission of the government and also not be involved in any illegal business.

The refugees should inform about their vehicles, which they have brought from their country to the local or village level committee concerned with Myanmar refugees, it said.

They should not enroll for Aadhaar, state voter list, or obtain a driving license, among others, the order said.

The government also instructed all local or village level committees to ensure that the order is strictly implemented and report to the chairman of the district task group on Myanmar refugees in case of violation of the order.

Home minister Lalchamliana had recently informed the state assembly that 30,401 Myanmar nationals have so far taken shelter in Mizoram since the military junta seized power in February last year.

Mizoram shares a 510 km long porous border with Myanmar.

The Myanmar nationals, who took shelter in Mizoram, are mostly from Chin communities, who share ethnicity and ancestry with the Mizos.

The majority of refugees are lodged at makeshift camps set up by the government and village authorities, while some have taken houses on rent on their own and some others live with their local relatives.

About 156 relief camps have been set up in different parts of the state, according to officials.

The Myanmar nationals are provided with food and other relief by the state government, NGOs, churches and village authorities.

The state government has so far provided Rs 380 lakh as relief to the Myanmar nationals, officials said.

Last year, Chief Minister Zoramthanga urged the Centre to provide humanitarian assistance to the Myanmar refugees.

In December last year, the state government had constituted a high-level committee chaired by Lalchamliana to monitor the Myanmar refugees due to a continuous rise in the number of Myanmar nationals fleeing to the state.

Apart from this, the government also set up a task group on Myanmar refugees, district level committees chaired by deputy commissioners and village or local level committees (under the chairmanship of village council president) to oversee the refugee issue.

The Mizoram government has been conducting profiling of Myanmar nationals taking shelter in the state since February this year in order to maintain a proper record of the refugees.

So far, 30,401 Myanmar nationals have been documented and 30,144 of them have been issued identity cards.

The identity card, which certifies the holder as sheltering in Mizoram, is only for identification purposes to differentiate the holder from Indian citizens and is not valid for availing the government’s scheme, according to a state home department official.

The ID card is valid only in Mizoram.