At Least 12 people from Myanmar have crossed the Indian border and taken refuge in Mizoram around a month after Myanmar’s military expelled Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, Officials said on Thursday.

Eight people have entered the Serchhip district, while four others made it to the Champhai district in the neighbouring province. However, their identity is yet to be ascertained, said a police officer.  According to Serchhip Deputy Commissioner Kumar Abhishek, Five people, comprising members of a family, crossed the international border and entered the district on Thursday, while three others did so on March 3.

The eight refugees have been placed in a community hall in Lungkawlh village, about 8 kilometres from the Indo-Myanmar border, where the district administration has provided them with food. The names of the refugees have not yet been released.  Four citizens from Myanmar have recently crossed into Champhai, according to Deputy Commissioner Maria CT Zuali.  The state Home Department has been informed of the influx of citizens from the neighbouring country, and Home Minister Lalchamliana will make a statement in the assembly on Monday, according to an official.

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More than 100 people from Myanmar also attempted to cross the international border to seek refuge in Mizoram recently, the Champhai deputy commissioner told PTI. However, they were stopped by Assam Rifles personnel guarding the border, she said. Assam Rifles Deputy Inspector General Digvijay Singh said that the force was directed not to allow any illegal entry from the neighbouring country. 

According to Zuali, the state government recently released a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in anticipation of a potential influx of Myanmar refugees following the coup.  “As it is an international matter, the Mizoram government can’t move on its own without the direction of the Centre,” she said, despite the fact that civil society organisations are happy to harbour Myanmar refugees.