MLA and Tangkhul Naga Aze Longphang seeks relocation or deportation

KAMJONG Ukhrul Manipur

The ongoing political turmoil in Myanmar has resulted in a significant influx of illegal immigrants into Manipur’s Kamjong District since November 2023, according to Leishiyo Keishing, MLA for 43-Phungyar (ST) AC, Manipur. In a letter to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Keishing highlighted the steady stream of refugees crossing the border, with over 5,800 individuals entering the district as of 9 May 2024. According to the MLA, the District Administration has collected biometric data from 5,173 of these refugees and housed them in designated locations, providing essential provisions such as food, water, power, and shelter.

Keishing emphasized that the influx has severely strained local resources, with the number of refugees surpassing the local population in shelter homes across the district. This situation, according to him, has led to conflicts over daily wages and domestic issues, resulting in violent altercations that challenge law enforcement due to limited police presence at the border.

The Tangkhul Naga Aze Longphang (TNAL), a union of Southern Tangkhul Nagas, has also appealed to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to either relocate or deport the refugees. In their representation submitted on 19 May, TNAL expressed concerns over the continuous influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar, driven by the conflict between the People’s Defence Force (PDF) and the ruling Military Junta in the Sagaing region.

The representation by the TNAL detailed that Kamjong District, which shares a 120-kilometer-long international border with Myanmar, has registered over 6,000 illegal immigrants. Specific villages have seen significant numbers: Phaikoh village with 1,591 immigrants, Shangkalok or Khenroram with 661, Skippe with 356, Pilong with 595, Aloyo and Choro with 414, Wanglee with 570, Namlee with 1,087, and K Ashang Khullen Aze with 375.

TNAL questioned whether the scrapping of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) by the Home Minister was only meant for Indians, as the influx of illegal immigrants from war-torn Myanmar continues even after the FMR was scrapped. They highlighted the rising tensions due to the refugees outnumbering local residents, leading to clashes, killings, and kidnappings. The situation is tense and has the potential to escalate into full-scale violence.

Given these concerns, TNAL has urgently requested the relocation or deportation of the illegal immigrants for the safety of both local residents and the refugees. They suggested either relocating the refugees outside Kamjong District if they are to remain in India or deporting them back to Myanmar to prevent further unrest in Manipur. (With inputs from Ukhrul Times)

MTNews Desk


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