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Manipur withdraws order of "not providing food and shelter" to Myanmar nationals

Fearing a possible influx, the Manipur government has issued an order barring local authorities and the civil society from offering food and shelter to refugees from Myanmar.

Manipur withdraws order of not providing food and shelter to Myanmar nationals

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 March 2021 11:42 AM GMT

IMPHAL: Days after Chief Minister Biren Singh led Manipur Government issued an order directing Deputy Commissioners of four districts to refrain from setting up food and shelter camps for Myanmar citizens entering India due to the ongoing crisis in the neighbouring country, it has withdrawn the same after facing backlash on social media, stating that the order "have been misconstrued and interpreted differently".

Myanmar has been under the grip of military coup since February, after the democratically elected government were ousted and civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi along with other leaders were detained. It has triggered a massive uproar in the country with mass protests being held for the return of the democracy.

However, fearing a possible influx from the fleeing Myanmar nationals, the Manipur Home Department has issued an order barring local authorities and the civil society from offering food and shelter to refugees from Myanmar.

The order issued on March 26 addressed to the deputy commissioners of Chandel, Tengnoupal, Kamjong, Ukhrul and Churachandpur districts, directed to take appropriate actions regarding the "illegal entry of Myanmarese nationals".

According to the order, only medical attention can be provided in case of "grievous injuries" on "humanitarian consideration". The order also said that those seeking refuge should be "politely turned away".

It asked to ensure that Aadhar enrolment was stopped immediately and the kits used in the procedure were taken to safe custody. It further urged to submit an 'action taken report' on the matter by today (March 30).

Meanwhile, the letter which has spread across social media has been criticized by many. After facing a backlash from several quarters, the Manipur government on March 29 issued another order withdrawing the previous one (issued on March 26).

"It appears that the contents of the letter have been misconstrued and interpreted differently...In order to avoid this misunderstanding I am directed to convey the decision of the government that it has decided to withdraw the letter dated 26.03.2021 mentioned above," the letter issued by Special Home Secretary to the state government H Gyan Prakash said.

The letter while announcing the withdrawal of the previous letter said that the government has been taking all humanitarian steps...including taking the injured Myanmarese nationals to Imphal, to treat them. "The state government continues to provide all aid," it added.

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