Manipur govt to keep Myanmar refugees in detention centres – aabtak24


Imphal, Mar 30, 2023, IANS

Imphal, March 30 (IANS): The Manipur government has decided to identify those Myanmarese refugees — who have sought asylum in the northeastern state, and keep them at the designated detention centres, an official said on Thursday.

So far, around 5,000 immigrants, including women and children, have fled from conflict-hit Myanmar, where the military took power in February 2021.

An official said that the Manipur government has recently constituted a Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by Tribal Affairs and Hill Development Minister Letpao Haokip after thousands of Myanmarese crossed over to the state due to the armed conflict happening near Indian border areas between the Myanmar Army and the People’s Defence Force (PDF)

A ministerial committee led by Haokip visited Moreh along the Myanmar border and Gamphazol village of Chandel district during the past few days and interacted with villagers.

Manipur shares 400 km of unfenced border with Myanmar.

The ministers accompanied by officials requested the villagers to help the officials to identify the Myanmar refugees and not to provide shelter for them at their homes.

All the Myanmar refugees would have to stay in the temporary detention centres and they would have to return to Myanmar after the situation in the country improves, Haokip told the media.

Among the refugees, Myanmar MP Thangsel Haokip, who is also taking shelter in Manipur, reportedly told the ministerial team in Moreh that they would like to take shelter in Indian territory as the violent clashes between the Myanmar military and the PDF cadres continue in the Saingang region of Myanmar that borders with the Indian states of Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.

Amid the clashes between the Myanmar army and the resistance group PDF, the Manipur government has tightened the security along the Myanmar border and asked the Assam Rifles to maintain strict vigil along the international border.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had earlier said that the security along the India-Myanmar border with Manipur has been further strengthened to avoid untoward incidents.

According to security officials and the district administration, round-the-clock foot patrolling has been intensified along the international border.

Besides, additional forces comprising Manipur State Rifles, police and other security personnel have also been deployed.

Around 31,000 Myanmar nationals have been sheltered in Mizoram after the military seized power in the country through a military coup in February 2021.

The Mizoram government, various NGOs and churches have been providing food and shelter to the Myanmarese, including women and children.


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