MHA tells 4 N-E states to prevent influx of people from Myanmar

Published on Mar 12, 2021 11:42 PM IST

New Delhi The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has asked four north eastern states – Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, as well as the Assam Rifles, to prevent a possible influx of people from Myanmar in the wake of massive civilian protests in the neighbouring country following a military coup, people familiar with the matter said

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HT Image

New Delhi

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has asked four north eastern states – Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, as well as the Assam Rifles, to prevent a possible influx of people from Myanmar in the wake of massive civilian protests in the neighbouring country following a military coup, people familiar with the matter said.

In a letter to the states, sent on Wednesday, the home ministry has also reminded the states that they do not have powers to grant refugee status to any foreigner and India is not a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol.

Mass demonstrations are being held in Myanmar against the declaration of a year-long emergency by the country’s armed forces.

In its communication, seen by HT, the MHA said, “As you are aware, there is a possibility of large scale illegal influx into Indian territory through India-Myanmar Border due to current internal situation in Myanmar. In this regard, MHA has already issued an advisory (dated February 25) to chief secretaries (of these four states) to stay alert and take appropriate action to prevent a possible influx into Indian Territory.”

According to MHA, “Now it has been reported that illegal influx from Myanmar has started.”

The development came in the wake of nearly 16 people from Myanmar crossing over to Mizoram last week, of which eight were police officers. Myanmar authorities asked the Mizoram government to send back the policemen.

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh also said that several people from Myanmar tried to enter Manipur but returned amid the presence of a large number of security personnel on the border.

While Mizoram shares a 510-km long border with Myanmar, Manipur shares a 398-km border with the nieghbouring country. Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland share 520 kms and 215 kms long border with country, respectively. The border along the four states is unfenced and porous.

The MHA also referred to a 2017 communication, in which it told the states to “sensitise all law enforcement and intelligence agencies for taking prompt steps in identifying the illegal migrants and initiate the deportation processes expeditiously and without delay”.

Similarly, the letter sent on Wednesday talks about its 2018 direction to the states to take biographic and biometric details of all illegal migrants in the country and cancel their fake Indian documents.

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