Send Illegal Immigrants Back To Myanmar, Say Naga Groups In Letter To Amit Shah


After the Manipur government, several Naga civil bodies and organisations in the state have asked Home Minister Amit Shah to repatriate illegal Myanmar immigrants to their country, sources said on Saturday. Sources said that the Naga organisations submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister earlier this week requesting him to deport illegal Myanmar immigrants.

The memorandum pointed out that around 5,457 illegal immigrants from Myanmar are being sheltered in eight Tangkhul villages in Manipur’s Kamjong district adjoining Myanmar and they have outnumbered the local residents.

After visiting the Indo-Myanmar border areas recently on a fact-finding mission, the United Naga Council (UNC), Naga Women’s Union (NWU), All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM) and Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPM-HR) submitted the memorandum to the Home Minister.

A UNC leader said a section of migrants are involved in illegal and anti-social activities and the law enforcing agencies are unable to effectively control such activities.

“Although biometrics have been captured for 5,173 persons, monitoring the activities of adult male inmates (illegal immigrants) has become a huge challenge as the authority cannot regularly conduct verification exercises amidst the fluctuating numbers of inmates between daytime and night in those makeshift refugee camps,” the UNC leader said, requesting anonymity.

A Manipur home department official said the state government in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs and the central security forces has deported 115 Myanmar nationals, including women and children in three phases since March 8.

The Myanmar immigrants have been deported through the Moreh border in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district.

Manipur has around 400 km of unfenced border with Myanmar.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said earlier that although India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, it has given shelter and aid to those fleeing the crisis in Myanmar on humanitarian grounds.

Since the military took over Myanmar more than three years ago, at least 8,000 Myanmarese have taken shelter in Manipur’s Tengnoupal, Chandel, Churachandpur and Kamjong districts, while over 36,000 people have taken shelter in Mizoram.

Following the advice of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Manipur government has been collecting the biometric details of the Myanmar nationals sheltered in the state.

The Mizoram government, however, initially turned down the MHA’s appeal to collect biometric data of the Myanmar refugees. Later, the state government decided to collect the biometric details of the refugees.

 Naga civil bodies and organisations in Manipur have asked Home Minister Amit Shah to repatriate illegal Myanmar immigrants to their country, sources said on Saturday.    

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