Imphal, Jul 29, 2023, IANS
Imphal, July 29 (IANS): The Manipur government -- on the instructions of the Home Ministry -- on Saturday began collecting the biometrics of illegal Myanmar immigrants in the northeastern state, an official said, adding the exercise would be completed by September.
A team of officials of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), deputed by the Home Ministry, assisted the state government officials in collecting the biometrics of illegal immigrants at the Foreigners' Detention Centre at Sajiwa in Imphal East district on Saturday.
The exercise would continue in all districts until the data of all illegal Myanmar immigrants in the state are collected.
As many as 718 Myanmar nationals, including 301 children and 208 women, have entered Manipur's Chandel district on July 22 and 23 due to the ongoing clashes between the Army and the civil forces in the neighbouring country.
The Myanmar nationals are now staying in seven locations of the Chandel district -- Lajang, Bonse, New Samtal, New Lajang, Yangnomphai, Yangnomphai Saw Mill, and Aivomjang -- all villages along the India-Myanmar border.
Manipur Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi on July 24 had asked the Assam Rifles to push back the Myanmar nationals.
"The government has sought a detailed report from the Assam Rifles to clarify on the facts and reasons, as to why and how these 718 Myanmar nationals were allowed to enter into India in Chandel district without proper travel documents. The state government has strictly advised the Assam Rifles to push back those 718 illegal Myanmar nationals immediately," the Chief Secretary had said.
Joshi further said that the state government has told the Assam Rifles to take strict action to prevent entry of Myanmar nationals into Manipur on any ground without valid visa and travel documents as per the instructions of the Home Ministry.
"The state government views the fresh illegal entry of 718 refugees very seriously with utmost sensitivity as the same may have international ramifications more particularly in view of the ongoing law and order issues," he said.
The Chief Secretary had asked the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of Chandel district to deal with the situation effectively and also keep biometrics and photographs of all such persons.
Meanwhile, after the military takeover in Myanmar in February 2021, thousands of Myanmarese fled to Mizoram with around 35,000 men, women and children from that country now staying in the mountainous state.
Around 5,000 Myanmarese also earlier took shelter in Manipur.
Manipur has around 400 km and Mizoram has 510 km unfenced border with Myanmar.
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