Three police officers from coup-hit Myanmar seek refuge in India

Police constables cross over to northeastern state of Mizoram to seek refuge rather than carry out Myanmar military’s orders, says Indian official.

Myanmar's riot police run while holding shields in Yangon, as protesters take part in a demonstration against the military coup [Ye Aung Thu/AFP]

Three Myanmar police constables have crossed over to India’s northeastern state of Mizoram to seek refuge there, rather than carry out orders given by the military government, an Indian police official said on Thursday.

The three men came across the border near the town of North Vanlaiphai on Wednesday afternoon and the local authorities were assessing their health and making arrangements for them, the police superintendent in Mizoram’s Serchhip district said.

“What they said is they got instructions from the military rulers which they cannot obey, so they have run away,” Superintendent Stephen Lalrinawma told Reuters news agency.

“They are seeking refuge because of the military rule in Myanmar,” Lalrinawma said.

India shares a 1,643km (1,021-mile) land border with Myanmar, where more than 50 people have been killed during protests against the military coup on February 1.

The military overthrew a democratically-elected government, and detained its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, having disputed her party’s landslide victory in November.

The coup reversed years of slow progress towards democracy in Myanmar after five decades of military rule. It came the day a newly elected parliament was supposed to take office.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party would have been installed for a second five-year term, but instead, she was detained along with President Win Myint and other senior officials.

Myanmar refugees in India protest

India is already home to thousands of refugees from Myanmar, including ethnic Chin people, a Christian minority community, and mainly-Muslim Rohingya who fled the southeast Asian country during previous bouts of violence.

Like the Rohingya, the Chin also are a persecuted minority group in Myanmar, living in Myanmar, Bangladesh and India.

About 300 refugees from the Chin community held a protest in New Delhi on Wednesday against last month’s military takeover in their country and demanded Aung San Suu Kyi’s immediate release.

The demonstration by members of the Chin minority was held at Jantar Mantar, the Indian capital’s main area for protests close to Parliament.

The protesters held placards with slogans including “Restore democracy in Burma” and “No more killings in Myanmar” as they burned a coffin with photographs of Myanmar’s coup leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping, accusing him of supporting the military rulers. They also stomped their feet on the Chinese national flag.

During the demonstration, the protesters also called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pressure Myanmar’s military rulers to restore democracy in the country.

Source: News Agencies