Manipur: Refugee influx from Myanmar sparks law and order concerns in Manipur’s district

Manipur’s Kamjong District is grappling with the aftermath of an influx of 4,363 Myanmar nationals seeking refuge.

| Updated: 18 December, 2023 1:53 pm IST
Refugee Influx from Myanmar Poses Law and Order Challenges in Kamjong District

GUWAHATI: In a significant development, Manipur’s Kamjong District is grappling with the aftermath of an influx of 4,363 Myanmar nationals seeking refuge. The surge in displaced individuals is a direct consequence of the turmoil unfolding in Myanmar, stemming from a military crackdown on rebel groups.

Kamjong District, sharing an extensive 398-km porous border with Myanmar, faces a challenge exacerbated by the inadequacy of fencing along its 104 km boundary, providing a gateway for the considerable influx of refugees.

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The majority of these refugees, primarily hailing from the Chin tribes with ethnic ties to the Kukis of Manipur, along with a smaller contingent of Myanmarese Meiteis, have sought shelter in Kamjong.

Naga People’s Front legislator Leishiyo Keishing has spearheaded efforts to provide essential necessities to these displaced people, offering support to those fleeing their homeland due to the precarious conditions arising from the military crackdown in Myanmar.

To address the situation, government authorities are taking steps to record biometric details, a crucial move for the identification of these “refugees” and for potential inclusion in future governmental programs, such as the issuance of Aadhaar cards for Indian citizens.

However, against the backdrop of ongoing ethnic conflicts in the state, the substantial and continuous influx of predominantly Chin community refugees raises concerns. The government is closely monitoring the situation, acknowledging the humanitarian aspect while emphasising the need to regulate the influx.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh underscored the importance of providing shelter on humanitarian grounds while preventing the establishment of illegal settlements through mandatory biometric recordings and continuous monitoring by government officials.

Singh, recognising the complex situation, told The New Indian, “Due to the prevailing situation in Myanmar, around 6,000 people have come to Manipur. We are providing them food and shelter owing to humanitarian consideration. More people are likely to come.”

Expressing caution about events along the border, particularly in Myanmar, Singh hinted at concerns regarding foreign influx and urged proactive measures. He emphasised the deployment of biometric systems in areas like Kamjong and Ukhrul, advocating for similar strategies in regions like Behiang, adjacent to Myanmar, given reports of heightened conflicts in the neighbouring country.

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The influx of Myanmar nationals seeking refuge in Manipur’s Kamjong District presents a multifaceted humanitarian challenge amid ongoing ethnic conflicts. As efforts continue to provide shelter and necessities, the government’s vigilance in regulating and monitoring the situation remains crucial to maintaining law and order while addressing the needs of those seeking sanctuary.

 

 

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