Nearly 250 Myanmar police and some army officers fled to India after being ordered to shoot civilian protesters after the February coup.
Activists warn of a potential humanitarian crisis along the 1,643 km India-Myanmar border, as fleeing Myanmar citizens find themselves caught between the violent crackdown by the military junta and resistance from the military. India. They must escape military patrols and traverse thickets to reach Mizoram State in northeast India, where groups of local volunteers provide them with food and shelter, defying government orders.
The northeastern states of India, including Mizoram, share a border with Myanmar. Its inhabitants are closely linked to the Chinese and other communities of Myanmar.
Army officers and soldiers who spoke to Folha said they abandoned their posts on Wednesday and together escaped military patrols to cross the border into the Indian state of Mizoram.
A policeman, Thawng, who fled Mandalay, Myanmar, said police shooting at pro-democracy protesters seriously injured many of his relatives. “Sometimes I was told to shoot protesters who included members of my family. I couldn’t stand the pain of my people. I ran away from the police station overnight, ”Thawng said.
Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city, has seen some of the worst cases of crackdown on pro-democracy protests. There were three new deaths on Saturday, including that of a Buddhist monk.
The military junta has threatened up to 13 years in prison with citizens joining the Civil Disobedience Movement (MDP), which is organizing protests across the country to overthrow the military regime.
Thawng said the people of Myanmar want to see democracy restored, but the military junta is determined to silence the voice of the people. “We have received clear orders to hunt down dissidents. I didn’t want to stifle the voice of my own people. So I gave up my job and my family to avoid serving 13 years in prison, ”he said.
Thawng says he doesn’t know where life will take him, but will do whatever it takes to get CDM support.
Things weren’t easy for Myanmars to escape. Many are cornered at the border without food. In India, they are questioned by the police and struggle to find food and shelter.
It took Thawng four days to reach and cross the border, entering Mizoram. To escape the Indian border guards, he had to hide under dense vegetation.
Since the February 1 coup, when the Myanmar military overthrew the democratically elected government, security forces have used excessive and deadly force against pro-democracy protesters across the country.
More than 70 people have been killed and hundreds have been arrested on arbitrary charges amid the military junta’s violent nationwide crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. They demand the return to civilian government and the release of political prisoners, including civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Myanmar professionals are leading the civil disobedience movement against the military coup regime. The protests drew tens of thousands of people across the country.
Doctors and nurses from the Hakha People’s Hospital who live in premises at their workplace were ordered by the army to leave the area immediately. According to residents, the junta wants to transform the hospital into a military base.
“We were ordered to shoot civilians. I refused to obey. I looked for the first possible opportunity to get out of there, ”said Keren, a 27-year-old police officer.
She said the army and police violently patrolled residential areas, shooting in the air to intimidate the population.
“And they are launching selective attacks, pulling those suspected of being part of the CDM out of their homes,” she said. “We have heard of several detainees who died tortured in the custody of the security forces.”
Accused of having sparked protests against the military junta, another policeman escaped several blitzes and arrived in India last week. He is staying with relatives in Mizoram and seeking to mobilize support for the CDM from India.
“The army does not have the right to overthrow the civilian government and rule Myanmar,” he said. “I will do my best to fight them nonviolently from here,” the policeman said, requesting anonymity.
On Monday (8), India’s interior ministry called on Myanmar’s military to prevent more Myanmars from crossing the border, expelling citizens who tried to flee the country.
Myanmar authorities have called on the Indian government to return eight police officers who sought refuge in India, along with their families, after the military coup.
Lalnunmawia Pautu, general secretary of MZP (Mizo Zirlai Pawl), a student association based in Mizoram, said dozens of Burmese police, women and children were isolated at the border after roads were blocked by police. Indian security guards. “They are isolated in the remote jungle, without food. We are trying to facilitate their entry into the country, through the inhabitants of the villages in the region, ”said Pautu.
More people are trying to cross the Indian border, he said, but the Indian government’s refusal to receive them could trigger a humanitarian crisis as the violent military crackdown in Myanmar has not abated.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga announced that for humanitarian reasons his government would provide shelter and other aid to Myanmar refugees, challenging the decision announced by New Delhi.
But human rights organizations are urging the Indian government to allow Burmese police officers who fled their country to stay in India.
“Due to the military coup and the brutal violence of the security forces against civilians, the people of Myanmar are going through a complex and growing humanitarian crisis in many parts of the country,” said the secretary of the US Department of internal security, Alejandro Mayorkas.
“The increasingly brutal repression of the army after the coup puts at risk any Myanmars who wishes to return to his country,” Human Rights Watch director for South Asia, Meenakshi Ganguly told Folha. . “Instead of putting more lives at risk, India should join other governments and pressure the military junta to restore democratic government in Myanmar.”
“The Burmese army has long been abusing and is even more disorganized now that it is back in power. The Indian government must fulfill its international obligations and protect those in need of refuge within its borders. “
CHRONOLOGY OF THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF MYANMAR
1948: Former British colony, Myanmar becomes an independent country 1962: General Ne Win abolishes the 1947 Constitution and establishes a military regime 1974: The first post-independence Constitution begins 1988: The violent repression of demonstrations against the military regime generates international criticism 1990: National League for Democracy (LND), opposed to the regime, wins the first multiparty election in 30 years and is barred from coming to power 1991: Aung San Suu Kyi, of the LND, wins the Nobel Peace Prize 1997: US and EU impose sanctions on Myanmar for human rights violations and disrespect for 2008 election results: Assembly approves new Constitution 2011: Thein Sein, a general retired, is elected president and the military regime is dissolved 2015: The LND obtains the majority in both chambers of Parliament 2016: Htin Kyaw is elected first civilian president since the coup d 1962 State and Suu Kyi assumes the post of State Councilor, equivalent to that of Prime Minister 2018: Kyaw resigns and Win Myi nt assumes the 2020 presidency: in the legislative elections, the LND receives 83% of the vote and defeats the pro-military party 2021: army alleges election fraud, arrests LND leaders and seizes power with new coup