Leaders of the Chin National Front (CNF) requested temporary political asylum for their families last week from India’s Mizoram State government.
“After the Burma army seized power, we’re preparing for our families in the event of a worse case scenario. During this political crisis anything can happen,” Salai Htet Ni, CNF spokesperson, told Khonumthung News.
The ethnic armed organization asked for asylum for 50 families. If there is political instability non-military families might have to flee, the spokesperson said, and CNF is also making preparations for them.
“As an armed organization, we have no other options but to do this. Whether or not clashes happen will depend on the resilience of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) and if mutual trust can be upheld,” Salai Htet Ni said.
The CNF, which signed the NCA in 2015, maintains its headquarters in Thangtlang Township, near the Indian border.
Last week, the administrator for Champhai District, in Mizoram State, said refugees from Chin State may attempt to enter the Indian state. Border authorities have been instructed to be on the lookout.
In Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram State, the Mizo Students’ Union organized a demonstration on February 3 against the coup in Burma, which was joined by members from the local government, opposition leaders and activists. The students’ union advised the government to accept refugees from Chin State.
During the 1988 uprising in Burma, university students, politicians and others were provided refuge in Mizoram State.