"Manipur violence has links to drive against illegal immigrants"
Govt will continue deportation of illegal immigrants: CM
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 12 2024: Chief Minister N Biren Singh has categorically stated that the State Government will continue to deport illegal immigrants settling in the State.

He also said that the Government found 2480 illegal immigrants settling in Manipur before the mayhem of May 3, 2023.Addressing a press briefing at the CM's Secretariat today, N Biren continued that the State Government has detected 5801 illegal immigrants as of May 12 at Kamjong and Moreh of which 15 have died due to natural causes.

The Chief Minister went on to state that altogether 5457 illegal immigrants from Myanmar are currently taking shelter at eight designated camps in Kamjong while 329 illegal immigrants have been deported to their native country after contacting the Myanmar authority.

He also said that the Government has sent a team of officials to Behiang in Churachandpur to capture biometrics of illegal immigrants staying there while the officials at Ukhrul have been informed to collect fresh biometrics of illegal immigrants taking shelter at Ukhrul, Kamjong areas.

An order has also been issued to constitute a special team under Commissioner (Home) Shailesh Kumar Chourasia and IGP Kabib K to carry out an inspection drive at Sajik Tampak, Behiang, Molcham etc, he added.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister contended that the violence of May, 3 last year and the situation that unfolded thereafter in the State are closely connected with the drive against illegal immigrants.

The Chief Minister, however, said that he won't say anything specific about the underlying motive behind the violence of May 3 last year as the truth will be revealed by those who are probing the Manipur violence.

Recounting that the Government constituted a Cabinet sub-committee to identify illegal immigrants settling in Manipur and safeguard the indigenous people on February 16, 2023, N Biren added that Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister Letpao Haokip was appointed as the Chairman of the Cabinet sub-committee and Ministers Awangbow Newmai and Th Basantakumar as the members.

Further stating that the Cabinet sub-committee was constituted to safeguard the indigenous people, N Biren Singh added that he alone didn't form the Cabinet subcommittee.

The Chief Minister went on to state that two Kuki Ministers Letpao Haokip and Nemcha Kipgen also attended the Cabinet meeting convened to constitute the committee to identify illegal immigrants residing in the State.

The Cabinet sub-committee started collecting biometrics of illegal immigrants staying at 10 villages of Chandel, 24 villages of Kamjong and some more villages at Tengnoupal and Churachandpur, N Biren said and added that 2480 illegal immigrants were found staying in several villages during the drive.

Prior to this, the Government had also arrested 290 illegal immigrants from a particular village in Churachandpur and they were found making their livelihood by weaving clothes, N Biren said.

Reiterating that the start of the violence in Manipur has a strong connection with the Government's drive against the illegal immigrants, the Chief Minister maintained that the Cabinet sub-committee stopped functioning after large scale violence erupted on May 3, 2023.Though the Cabinet subcommittee has stopped working, the State Government still continues to take the biometrics of illegal immigrants by stationing DCs, SPs and other officials at key locations, N Biren continued and maintained that the mushrooming of unauthorised villages and large scale deforestation could have been prevented had there been drives to identify illegal immigrants in the early 1990s.He further stated that the State Government will continue the drive to identify illegal immigrants across the State with 1961 as the base year and deport them irrespective of the communities they belong to.

Regarding the direction given to India by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) to stop deportation of refugees from Myanmar, the Chief Minister said that neither the Centre nor the Manipur Government is under ICJ.

He appealed to the ICJ and all others concerned not to interfere in the measures taken up by the Government to safeguard the indigenous people of Manipur.

The Chief Minister said that he called the press conference to let the people in Manipur, India and across the world know that whatever the State Government has been doing amid the crisis in Manipur is to safeguard the indigenous people.

The increase in the figure of illegal immigrants in Manipur poses a grave threat to the survival of the indigenous people apart from creating demographic imbalance, the Chief Minister added.

Saying that ICJ won't know the problems being faced by the people of Manipur and the loss of forest cover in the State, he added that the comment given by ICJ on deporting illegal immigrants was unfortunate.

He went on to state that the refugees deported by the State Government were received by the Myanmar authority.

They were not kicked out from the State but handed over to the Myanmar authority, the Chief Minister said, referring to the deportation of illegal immigrants.

N Biren also contended that the Govt didn't violate any international law in dealing with the illegal immigrants nor were they treated inhumanely.

NGOs which work for money shouldn't interfere in the measures taken up to protect the indigenous population of Manipur as it a matter of life and death for the indigenes, the Chief Minister continued and asked what ICJ did when United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said no law in the world can stop the UK Govemment from deporting the illegal migrants and when former United States President Donald Trump built fences along US-Mexico border and prevented intrusion of illegal migrants from Mexico.

The State Government won't do something just because some NGOs said so, the Chief Minister asserted.

N Biren however clarified that the State Government doesn't target any community and its action is only against the illegal immigrants.

Should the Government allow intrusion of illegal immigrants, he asked and added that the State Government takes the issue of illegal immigrants very seriously.

He also appealed to social media users to not upload or post the issue of Manipur randomly on social media without understanding the gravity of the situation.

Lets take the issue in Manipur very seriously and safeguard the land, resources and people of the State, he appealed.

Notably, Manipur has been facing the issue of influx of illegal immigrants through the porous border areas for decades.

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