Deputy Commissioners told to politely turn away Myanmar refugees

Imphal

The Manipur government issued a circular to the Deputy Commissioners of districts bordering Myanmar not to open camps to provide food and shelter to refugees fleeing the neighbouring country after the coup but withdrew it three days later to avoid potential public anger.

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 Aadhaar enrolment exercise. As a fallout of the events taking place in the neighbouring country, Myanmar, it is reported the country's nationals have been trying to enter India through the border 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, which came into public domain on Monday, said. While advising the DCs to "politely turn away", those trying to sneak into India, the Special Secretary wrote, in case of grievous injuries, medical attention may be provided on humanitrian considerations.

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

"It appears that the contents of the letter have been misconstrued and interpreted differently. The state government has been taking all humanitarian steps had recently taken all steps, including taking them to Imphal, to treat the injured Myanmarese nationals. The state government continues to provide all aid," it said.

"To avoid this misunderstanding I am directed to convey the decision of the Government it has decided to withdraw the letter dated 26.03.2021 mentioned above," Prakash said.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in