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MHA directs NE States to check influx from crisis-hit Myanmar

The four Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland have been directed to prevent a possible influx of people from Myanmar following the military coup.


Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 March 2021 7:33 AM GMT

NEW DELHI: Following the military coup in the neighbouring country, Myanmar, the Ministry of Home Affairs MHA has directed the Northeastern states to keep a check on the possible influx from the crisis-hit state. The development came after Myanmar authorities have asked India to return the police officials who have taken refugee in the Northeastern region to avoid taking orders from the military.

The military toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 and huge protests erupted nationwide. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners advocacy group claims security forces have already killed over 60 protesters and arrested more than 2,000 others in the ensuing crackdown. A year-long state of emergency was declared in Myanmar and the military took over the democratically elected government in the country. Myanmar's State Counsellor Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint were detained and State power was transferred to Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing by the military.

Meanwhile, the MHA has asked the four Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland which share 1,643 km unfenced borders with Myanmar, to prevent a possible influx of people from Myanmar in the wake of massive civilian protests in the country following the military coup.

Earlier, the MHA has asked the paramilitary Assam Rifles to prevent any Myanmar national from crossing into Indian territory and push back any found attempting to cross over. The Assam Rifles guards the India-Myanmar border in the northeast, while the BSF guards the border with Bangladesh. Top sources in the paramilitary force said that the "instructions from the top was clear and unambiguous — no Myanmar national should be allowed to enter India without valid visa or travel permit".

This came after Myanmar officially asked for the immediate return of eight policemen who had crossed over and sought shelter in the north-eastern State of Mizoram.

The MHA in its statement reiterated that the state governments do not possess the power to grant 'refugee' status to any foreigner and that India is not a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol.

Reportedly, around sixteen people from Myanmar had crossed over to Mizoram last week, of which eight were police officers. Following which the Myanmar authorities had asked Mizoram to send back the policemen.

The MHA further cautioned the states and law enforcement agencies to remain alert of any possible influx and take prompt action to prevent it.

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