Manipur Chief Minister On Myanmar Refugees

We cannot deny shelter on humanitarian grounds, said Biren Singh. (File)


Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Saturday said that shelter cannot be denied to those seeking it on humanitarian grounds, but foreigners cannot be allowed to sneak into the state and set up illegal villages. The administration needs to collect biometric details of those who have taken refuge in Kamjong district after fleeing from Myanmar, Mr Singh said.

Around 2,060 people from Myanmar have reached five places in the border district of Kamjong after fresh violence in the neighbouring country in November, an official said.

“We cannot deny shelter on humanitarian grounds. The only thing is to have their biometric details taken and provide shelter to them temporarily. What we have been telling them is not to sneak into Manipur and set up illegal villages,” the chief minister said.

Mr Singh was addressing the Vijay Diwas programme marking the Indian army’s victory over Pakistan on this day in 1971.

“We are providing food, medicines and tents to them (Myanmarese people) to stay,” the chief minister said and asked the police to be extra vigilant in border areas.

Manipur shares a 398-km-long porous border with Myanmar. Most of the people who came to the northeastern state from across the international border belong to the Chin community, who share ethnic ties with the Kukis of Manipur.

Mr Singh appreciated the security forces of the central and state governments “for their dedication and commitment in bringing peace in the state in the last six months.”

Manipur has been rocked by ethnic strife between the Meitei and Kuki communities since May 3.

Expressing concern over the use of social media to create mistrust among communities by some vested interests, the chief minister asked the security officials to form a joint team of experts from the police, para-military forces and the army to stop such propaganda

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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