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Safeguarding Manipur from Illegal Immigration

by Editorial Team
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Safeguarding Manipur from Illegal Immigration

Chief Minister N Biren Singh has reiterated the commitment of the Manipur State Government to deport illegal immigrants who have settled in the region. The government has identified 5,801 illegal immigrants as of May 12, 2023, with 2,480 discovered before the violent outbreak on May 3, 2023. Currently, 5,457 illegal immigrants from Myanmar are housed in designated camps in Kamjong, while 329 have been deported.
Despite the suspension of the Cabinet sub-committee’s operations to further locate the illegal immigration following the May 3 violence, the government continues its biometric data collection efforts in key areas such as Ukhrul and Kamjong persists. This ongoing commitment highlights the necessity of early and sustained intervention to prevent the establishment of unauthorized settlements and the resulting deforestation.
MLA Phungyar Leishiyo Keishing has urged immediate government intervention to address the influx of illegal immigrants in Kamjong district. The MLA’s letter to the Chief Minister highlights the strain on local resources and the challenges posed to law enforcement. The influx has surpassed the local population, leading to conflicts over resources and law enforcement struggles due to the differing customs and practices of the immigrants.
The situation in Kamjong district exemplifies the broader challenges faced by Manipur. With around 5,500 Myanmar refugees currently residing in Kamjong, and more expected to arrive due to ongoing political turmoil in Myanmar, the strain on local resources and law enforcement is palpable.
The state government’s firm stance on deporting illegal immigrants is a necessary measure to protect Manipur’s indigenous population and maintain social order. The commitment to using 1961 as the base year for identifying illegal immigrants underscores the seriousness with which the government views this issue. However, despite these efforts, it is imperative that the refugees are treated humanely. The humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated by the lack of a clear policy from the Indian government on how to handle these refugees. This ambiguity has left states like Manipur to grapple with the consequences on their own.
While the humanitarian aspects of the crisis cannot be ignored, it is crucial to balance compassion with the need to safeguard the interests of the local population. Ensuring humane treatment for refugees, providing them with basic necessities, and addressing their needs respectfully must be integral to any strategy moving forward. At the same time, the central government must articulate a clear and consistent policy on the refugee situation, providing states with the necessary guidance and support to manage this complex issue effectively.
Manipur State Government’s ongoing efforts to address the influx of illegal immigrants are vital for the preservation of the state’s demographic balance and social harmony. It is imperative that these measures continue with the support of all stakeholders to ensure the safety and well-being of Manipur’s indigenous communities, while also ensuring that refugees are treated with the humanity and dignity they deserve. The central government must step up to provide a comprehensive framework that addresses both the immediate needs of the refugees and the long-term stability of the region.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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