AIZAWL, Oct 22 - As many as 598 foreigners were arrested for illegally crossing the international border and entering Mizoram during 2010-15, State Home Minister R Lalzirliana informed the Assembly on Tuesday. In a written reply to a question from Lalruatkima of the MNF, Lalzirliana said that the arrested foreigners were convicted by local courts and deported to their respective countries after completion of their sentences.
He said that the illegal infiltrators entered Mizoram primarily for business purposes. The protection of boundary and cross-border intrusion are handled by the Border Security Force (BSF) under the Government of India and it did not appear the illegal intrusion was due to negligence, he added.
The largest number of 228 foreigners, according to the Home Minister, were arrested in 2010, while only 13 foreigners were nabbed during this year till August. No refugees from foreign countries were reported during the last six years, he said.
Sandwiched between Myanmar and Bangladesh, Mizoram shares a 722-km international border with the two countries. Lalzirliana said that 4,426 foreigners visited the State during the same period, and that the Protected Area Permit (PAP), restricting visits by foreigners to Mizoram and other scheduled areas in the country, was relaxed in the last five years.
In another reply, the Home Minister said that 5,305 non-tribals were arrested and convicted for staying in the State without valid Inner Line Permits (ILPs) during the last six months and were deported to the neighbouring States.