New Delhi (Mizzima) – Mizoram State police raided a civil society meeting in Aizawl, the capital, on Thursday, in which the role of civil societies in peace and development work in Chin State in Burma was being discussed.
Sixteen leaders from civil societies and religious organizations from nine townships in Chin State were arrested by Indian Mizoram State police and are in custody at State Police Force Headquarters, sources said. They are likely to be deported to Burma or tried by the Indian authorities.
Meeting organizer Pu Htet Ni, the coordinator of the Chin Public Affairs Committee, told Mizzima that such actions are misguided in light of the peace process underway between the Burmese government and the Chin National Front (CNF).
“Those arrested are now being kept in Mizoram State Police headquarters. They will be deported to Burma. Our leaders will face a lot of difficulties if they are deported to Burma,” he said. He said leaders were afraid that the Indian authorities would take some of those arrested to court.
Some of the arrested leaders had a border pass that is valid for 15 days and some have no such documents, sources said. They were arrested on the last day of a three-day meeting attended by about 50 people.
At the meeting, the participants discussed the Manipur dam and Laymyo dam in Chin State, natural resources and the Kaladan multi-modal project being implemented by the Indian and Burmese governments.
Mizoram State authorities have arrested Burmese nationals in the past who attended training workshops or conferences organized by Burmese opposition groups or the CNF.
Chin State in Burma and Mizoram State in India are contiguous for over 400 kilometres.