Various parameters of refugee crisis in India
- In recent years, Mizoram has witnessed an increase in refugees from neighbouring countries, impacting the region’s internal security. Officials express concerns about narcotics smuggling and weapon trafficking, while security forces actively monitor the situation along the India-Myanmar Border.
- Over the past few years, Mizoram has experienced an increase in the number of refugees from Myanmar, and more recently from Bangladesh and Manipur, which has impacted the region’s internal security situation.
- Discrepancies exist between the figures provided by the State government and security forces regarding the number of refugees from Myanmar.
- However, there are approximately 8,000 individuals from Manipur and over 900 people from Bangladesh, and these numbers are expected to rise further.
- The State government has allowed entry to individuals arriving from Myanmar, with the requirement that they be properly registered, as directed by the Central government.
- Currently, camps have been established, but a majority of the refugees have chosen to stay with relatives or seek employment elsewhere.
Implications of refugee influx:
- The existing population in Mizoram may experience challenges in terms of accommodating and integrating a large number of refugees from different cultural backgrounds. This can lead to cultural clashes, strained social relations, and potential conflicts.
- The scarcity of local resources in south Mizoram, primarily due to the challenging terrain, has been compounded by the influx of refugees. This shortage has the potential to incite unrest among the local population.
- The arrival of a large number of refugees can have both positive and negative economic implications for Mizoram.
- On one hand, it can lead to increased economic activity and demand for goods and services, potentially benefiting local businesses.
- On the other hand, it can also create competition for limited resources and job opportunities, leading to potential unemployment and economic disparities among the local population.
- The increased population density resulting from a growing refugee influx can have environmental implications.
- Deforestation, land degradation, and increased pressure on natural resources can occur as more land is utilised for housing and infrastructure to accommodate the growing population.
- Officials on the ground express particular concern about the influx from Bangladesh, as it may create opportunities for smuggling narcotics and weapons, posing a new challenge for security forces.
- A significant issue on the India-Myanmar Border (IMB) is the escalating smuggling of narcotics, with seizures steadily increasing each year.
- Concerns have been raised about the presence of guides leading refugees through the dense jungles of south Mizoram, which could be exploited for smuggling arms and narcotics.
- In Mizoram alone, the total value of confiscated narcotics in the current year reached ₹603.43 crore, compared to ₹355 crore in 2022.
- The Assam Rifles, deployed along the IMB, are actively monitoring the situation and addressing security concerns.
- The imposition of martial law by Myanmar’s military junta in several states and regions, coupled with recent air strikes near the IMB, has heightened tensions in border-adjacent areas. Nevertheless, the security situation along the IMB in Mizoram remains stable.