Thousands Rally in Mizoram Against India-Myanmar Border Fencing Decision

 Aizawl, 16 May 24(Zoram News) : Thousands of individuals participated in peaceful rallies in Mizoram on Thursday, organized by the Zo Re-Unification Organisation (Zoro), to protest the Indian government's decision to fence the India-Myanmar border and revoke the free movement regime with the neighboring country.

The rallies, held in Zokhawthar and Vaphai villages in Champhai district along the Myanmar border, saw the participation of numerous individuals from both sides of the border, according to a leader of the organization.

Zoro, advocating for the reunification of Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi tribes across India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, orchestrated the demonstrations.

The protests commenced at 7 a.m. in Vaphai, concluding around 10 a.m., while the rally in Zokhawthar, near the India-Myanmar Friendship Gate, began at 11 a.m. and is ongoing, informed Zoro's general secretary L. Ramdinliana Renthlei.

In Vaphai, thousands gathered, and around 7,000 protestors joined the Zokhawthar rally. Despite the Friendship Gate's closure by authorities to avert any potential incidents, several individuals from Myanmar participated in the rallies.

Participants on both sides of the Friendship Gate exchanged waves and voiced their opposition to the Indian government's decision, holding placards and banners advocating for the continuation of the free movement regime, emphasizing their shared Zo ethnic identity and longstanding coexistence.

The free movement regime, allowing travel up to 16 km across the international border, is cherished by communities on both sides.

Mizoram's close ties with Myanmar's Chin state, sharing a 510-km-long border and ethnic connections, fuel the solidarity displayed in the protests.

The protests extended to Manipur's Tengnoupal district, demonstrating widespread dissent against the border fencing decision.

According to Mr. Renthlei, the protests remain peaceful, with no reported law and order disturbances.

Protesters demand the Indian government reconsider its decision to fence the border and revoke the free movement regime, emphasizing the potential disruption to close ties between ethnic communities.

Mizoram, hosting over 34,000 refugees from Myanmar's Chin state following the military coup in February 2021, stands in staunch opposition to the border fencing and free movement regime abolition, supported by the state government, civil society organizations, and student bodies.

The Mizoram Assembly previously passed a resolution on February 28 opposing the Indian government's decision, highlighting the strong resistance against the policy changes affecting the region's socio-cultural fabric.

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