Indo-myanmar friendship gate

Manipur deports first batch of illegal Myanmar nationals amid border security concerns

In a significant development, the first batch of Myanmar nationals who entered India illegally has been deported, announced Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh via social media. The deportation comes amidst escalating concerns over border security and the influx of illegal immigrants.

Singh’s tweet underscored India’s stance on the issue, stating that while the country is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, it has provided shelter and aid to those fleeing the crisis in Myanmar on humanitarian grounds, albeit with a systematic approach.

This deportation follows closely on the heels of a recent decision to suspend the Indo-Myanmar Free Movement Regime (FMR) and initiate the fencing of the entire 1,643-kilometer stretch of the border with Myanmar. The FMR, which permitted tribal people living along the border to travel 16 kilometers into each other’s countries, has been a subject of contention, with Singh advocating for its scrapping and stricter border control measures.

Manipur and Mizoram have witnessed a significant influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar following the military coup in February 2021. The Mizos have extended support to the Chins fleeing the military crackdown, providing refuge, food, shelter, and education.

Ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities erupted in Manipur on May 3, 2023, triggering phases of violence in the state. Singh has attributed the state’s woes, including the influx of illegal immigrants from the Kuki-Zo community and the smuggling of drugs and weapons through the porous border, to these issues.

In a recent update provided in the state assembly on February 27, 2024, Chief Minister Singh revealed that 6,746 illegal Myanmarese nationals had been detected in Manipur from May 3, 2023, to February 27, 2024, further highlighting the severity of the issue and the government’s efforts to address it.

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