India is already home to thousands of refugees from Myanmar, including ethnic Chin people and Rohingya
Seeking protection and to escape taking orders from a military junta, three Myanmar police officers have crossed over the border into north eastern India as the military is trying to suppress protests against last month's coup, an Indian police official said on Thursday.
On several instances recounted on social media of police joining the civil disobedience movement and protests against the junta, with some being arrested, this is the first reported case of police fleeing Myanmar.
The three police crossed the border near the town of North Vanlaiphai in India's Mizoram state on Wednesday afternoon and authorities there were assessing their health and making arrangements for them, the police superintendent in 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.
"They are seeking refuge because of the military rule in Myanmar," Lalrinawma said.
India shares a 1,643 km (1,021 mile) land border with Myanmar, where more than 50 people have been killed during protests against military coup on February 1. The junta overthrew a democratically-elected government, and detained its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, having disputed her party's landslide victory in November.
India is already home to thousands of refugees from Myanmar, including ethnic Chin people and Rohingya who fled the southeast Asian country during previous bouts of violence.
A Chin community leader in New Delhi said police have rarely fled to India.
president of the India-based Chin Refugee Committee, James Fanai said, "This is something unusual. Because in the past, the police and military just followed orders.”
Myanmar's ruling military council has stressed the importance of police and soldiers doing their duty.
(With inputs from agency)
Last Updated Mar 4, 2021, 5:00 PM IST