October 20, 2015 7:52:21 pm
Almost 600 foreign citizens who illegally entered Mizoram have been arrested, tried and deported over the past 5 years, according to state Home Minister R Lalzirliana.
Replying to an unstarred question in the assembly by opposition MLA Lalruatkima on Tuesday, the Home Minister said these 598 foreign citizens largely crossed the international border to find work or for business.
“There are no known refugees in Mizoram,” he said.
Mizoram shares more than 700 kms of border with Myanmar to the east and Bangladesh to the west. While border fencing is currently under-way in the western border except for some stretches in a tiger reserve area, the eastern border has no such physical barriers.
Meanwhile, the Home Minister also said 22,461 people who have entered the state in breach of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) have also been evicted in the past five years and 22,790 punished as per law. More than 62,000 others have meanwhile been lawfully issued these ILPs.
The Inner Line Regulation is in place in tribal-dominated Mizoram as well as in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
Indian citizens from other states need these permits to enter, stay or work in these three states.
Groups in Meghalaya and Manipur have also been agitating, sometimes violently, for similar provisions saying non-indigenous populations are overwhelming the local populations and altering the demographics of their states. They invariably cite the example of Tripura, where migrants from Bangladesh overwhelmed the indigenous tribal population in a matter of decades.
Law enforcement agencies, and sometimes non-government organisations and student unions in Mizoram periodically check non-locals for valid ILPs as per the regulation and present those without valid permits before courts of law.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.