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Manipur CM N. Biren Singh’s stand on illegal migrants gains support from Mizoram

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Manipur CM N. Biren Singh’s stand on illegal migrants gains support from Mizoram

IT News
Imphal, May 16:

Amid growing concerns over illegal migration, Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma has aligned with Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s stringent stance on the issue. Initially, Chief Minister Lalduhoma was a vocal advocate on the matter but had differing views on its management. However, he now acknowledges the gravity of the situation as highlighted by Chief Minister Singh and has committed to taking concrete steps to address it.
In a significant move, Mizoram is set to begin the collection of biometric data of refugees. This measure aims to better manage and monitor the influx of migrants and ensure accurate records. The decision marks a pivotal shift in regional policy and highlights the collaborative effort between neighboring states to tackle the pressing issue of illegal migration.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s persistent advocacy and serious approach to the illegal migrant problem have evidently influenced Mizoram’s policy direction. The move to gather biometric data is expected to enhance the state’s capability to regulate and control the movement of refugees, thereby contributing to greater regional stability and security.
The Centre, in a move aimed at addressing immigration concerns, directed the Manipur government to expedite its drive to capture the biometrics of illegal immigrants from Myanmar last year. This directive, issued in September 2023, included an extension of the deadline for completion of the biometric collection by six months. Concurrently, Mizoram, Manipur’s neighboring state, was also urged to conduct a similar biometric exercise and meet the deadline by September 2023. However, Mizoram declined participation, citing apprehensions regarding discrimination.
According to Mizoram’s Home Department, a significant influx of displaced individuals has been observed since February 2021, with 32,221 people seeking refuge in the state due to the civil war in Myanmar and 1,167 others fleeing alleged ethnic persecution in Bangladesh. Moreover, approximately 9,000 internally displaced individuals, primarily from strife-torn Manipur, are currently being accommodated in Mizoram.
Previously, under the leadership of Zoramthanga, the Mizo National Front (MNF) government had initiated training programs and appointed nodal officers for the biometric registration of refugees. However, the decision was reversed to prevent perceived discrimination against individuals sharing ancestry with those from Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Responding to evolving circumstances, the Mizoram government has revisited its approach to biometric data collection. During a meeting with officials from the Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma announced plans to commence biometric enrollment for refugees.
The decision came after Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh disclosed that 5,457 illegal immigrants have been identified in the Kamjong district, with deportation measures underway. Of these individuals, biometric data for 5,173 have been recorded. N. Biren Singh stressed the continued efforts to deport illegal immigrants while ensuring humanitarian aid for those affected.

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