Manipur Orders Bar On Myanmarese Entering India

The Manipur government has asked the district administrations of bordering Myanmar not to entertain people from across the border to enter into the Indian territory, officials said on Monday.

The Manipur government directives, which issued to the five Deputy Commissioners of the bordering districts of Chandel, Tengnoupal, Kamjong, Ukhrul and Churachandpur, however, said: “In case of grievous injuries, medical attention may be provided on humanitarian considerations.”

The letter, written by Manipur government’s Special Secretary (Home) H. Gyan Prakash to the Deputy Commissioners, said that as a fall out of the events taking place in Myanmar, it is reported that the country’s nationals have been trying to enter India through the border states including Manipur.

Prakash asked the five DCs not to open any camps to provide food and shelter, the Civil Society Organisations also should not be allowed to open any camps to provide shelter and food, people trying to enter or seek refuge should be politely turned away and Aadhaar enrolment should be stopped immediately and Aadhaar enrolment kits should be taken into safe custody.

The Manipur Home Department has also sought a “report on action taken” by the concerned district administrations by Tuesday.

According to officials, on Friday, some Myanmarese including women and children tried to enter Manipur through the Moreh-Tamu border but the security forces did not allow them to enter on the Indian side.

Manipur media reported that three injured Myanmar nationals with bullet wounds last week allowed to enter Manipur and they have been admitted at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal. Two of them are in critical conditions.

Meanwhile, according to the different official sources and bordering villagers over a thousand Myanmar nationals including some security personnel so far entered in Mizoram and the local people and NGOs are providing them food and shelter on humanitarian ground.

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide asylum, food and shelter to those refugees who have arrived in the state since the military seized power in Myanmar last month.

Zoramthanga’s March 18 letter to Modi sought his intervention so that the refugees from Myanmar are given asylum, food and shelter in India.

Referring to Union Home Ministry’s advisories to the Chief Secretaries of the four northeastern states bordering Myanmar and also to the Assam Rifles and Border Security Forces for taking action to prevent illegal influx from Myanmar into India, Zoramthanga said, “This is not acceptable to Mizoram.”

“I understand that there are certain foreign policy issues where India needs to proceed cautiously. However, we cannot ignore this humanitarian crisis,” the Chief Minister said in his letter.

Zoramthanga said in his letter that India as the largest democracy in the world and Myanmar’s immediate neighbour needs to do more and open up more in this matter.

Amid the government tightening the security along the India-Myanmar border to prevent influx from across the border, Zoramthanga recently held a virtual meeting with Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Zin Mar Aung.

Mizoram government delegations comprising state’s Member of Parliament and senior leader of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) had already met separately with Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M.Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and others in Delhi and persuade them to impress upon the government not to forcefully push back the Myanmar nationals sheltered in Mizoram.

According to Mizoram’s Rajya Sabha member K.Vanlalvena over a 1,000 Myanmar nationals including police personnel besides women and children have crossed the border are currently taking shelter in Mizoram.

Meanwhile, the MHA had recently given directions to the chief secretaries of four northeastern states — Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur — sharing borders with Myanmar to not entertain Myanmar refugees. It also instructed Assam Rifles to seal the border and prevent entry from the neighbouring country, the statement said.

The four northeastern states share a 1,643 km unfenced border with Myanmar.

The MHA reiterated that the state governments and UT administrations have no power to grant “refugee” status to any foreigner and India is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol. The four northeastern states share a 1,643 km unfenced border with Myanmar.

A one-year state of emergency has been declared in Myanmar where power has been transferred to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing after President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi were detained by the military on February 1.

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