Order on Myanmar refugees withdrawn by Manipur govt

Myanmar coup
Myanmar coup | Photo courtesy: BBC

The Manipur government has withdrawn a circular that had asked the deputy commissioners of the districts bordering Myanmar not to open camps to provide food and shelter to refugees fleeing the neighbouring country.

The circular was issued three days ago but it decided to withdraw to avoid potential public anger, reports PTI.

In the advisory issued to the DCs of Chandel, Tengoupal, Kamjong, Ukhrul and Churachandpur on March 26, special secretary (home) H Gyan Prakash also asked them to stop the Aadhaar enrolment exercise.

As a fallout of the events taking place in the neighbouring country, it is reported that the country’s nationals have been trying to enter India through the bordering states, including Manipur, it said.

“District administration should not open any camps to provide food and shelter. The civil society organisations should also not be allowed to open any camps to provide shelter/food,” the circular had said.

While advising the DCs to “politely turn away” those trying to sneak into India, the special secretary wrote that in case of grievous injuries, medical attention may be provided on humanitarian considerations.

A number of Myanmar nationals has already taken shelter in Mizoram.

With public anger mounting in neighbouring Mizoram against attempts to thwart the entry of refugees from Myanmar, the officer issued another advisory, saying the contents of the previous letter had been “misconstrued”.

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Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga had recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to provide asylum to the refugees, saying a “human catastrophe of gigantic proportions” is happening in Myanmar and innocent citizens are being killed by the military, which is supposed to protect them.

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