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As Myanmar police officers flee to India to avoid shooting at civilians, Myanmar authorities request India to return them

A senior-official at Champhai, a border district in Mizoram, said that she had received a letter from her counterpart in Myanmar's Falam district requesting the return of eight police "in order to uphold friendly relations".

After Myanmar citizens, including several police officers, crossed over to India fearing violence, the Myanmar Authorities have requested India to send them back. The police officers had sought refuge in India to avoid taking orders from Myanmar’s military junta that has now seized power in a coup.

According to the reports, nearly 30 Myanmar police and their family members have fled from their country and crossed over to the Indian border, seeking refuge after the protests against the military turned increasingly violent, killing more than a dozen in the last week.

The Deputy Commissioner of Champhai, a border district in Mizoram, said that she had received a letter from her counterpart in Myanmar’s Falam district requesting the return of eight police “in order to uphold friendly relations”. Speaking to Reuters, Deputy Commissioner Maria CT Zuali said that she was “waiting for the direction” from the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi.

In the letter, the Myanmar authorities said they had information that at least eight police personnel had crossed into India. The letter listed details for four police officers, aged between 22 and 25, including a female officer.

“In order to uphold friendly relations between the two neighbour countries, you are kindly requested to detain 8 Myanmar police personnel who had arrived to Indian territories and hand-over to Myanmar,” the letter said.

As per the locals, the Myanmar police officials said they fled from their country after disobeying their superior officers’ orders to shoot at the civilians in the Chin state.

More than 50 people have fled Myanmar, seeks refugee in Mizoram

Since the last few days, many Myanmar citizens, including police officers, have crossed over to India and have taken refuge at Lungkawlh village of Serchhip district in Mizoram. The locals claim the number is much more, as the villagers of the border areas of Champhai and Serchhip districts told the media that at least 50 people comprising unarmed police personnel and civilians from Myanmar have crossed over to the mountainous state since March 3.

According to a report by Eastmojo, an unnamed official said that at least 11 of the intruders are police officers. The refugees have been housed in community halls for the time being, with further instructions awaited from the central government.

The refugees have come into at least three border districts of Mizoram — Champai, Serchhip and Siaha. Champai shares a porous border with the Chin State of Myanmar, with the Mizo and Chin communities sharing ethnic roots.

Meanwhile, the security and the civilian administration in the North-Eastern states had anticipated the possibility of an influx of refugees into Mizoram soon after the Myanmar army carried out a coup against the elected government in the country. The senior bureaucrats in the state capital Aizawl are awaiting directions from the centre. They have now prepared an SOP on how to get the refugees registered. 

As Myanmar citizens are entering Indian territory following the crackdown, the local organisations have demanded proper facilities for the refugees who are expected to arrive at the border in the coming days. 

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