TODAY -

Infiltration from across the border : Bamboo fence says it all !
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: December 01 2023 -

 Not an inch of border fenced, says Kamjong DC
Not an inch of border fenced, says Kamjong DC :: Pix - TSE



It is disturbing. This is more so given the situation when Manipur as a whole is pointing its finger at illegal immigrants from across the border as one of the main reasons for the ongoing clash between the Kuki-Zos and the Meiteis.

And the clash is set to complete seven months or 210 days on December 3 with no signs that things will take a turn for the better.

Just one day after the Ukhrul Correspondent of The Sangai Express quoted the Deputy Commission of Kamjong district as asserting that over 1000 refugees have entered via Kamjong, came another input from an official source putting the number at 1383 refugees at the said district.

Out of this as many as 375 reportedly sneaked into the territory of Manipur on a single day, that is November 28 and while the surge in the number of refugees can be understood in the backdrop of the clashes in neighbouring Myanmar, it should not be forgotten that the figures trotted out here is in connection with only one district, Kamjong.

Nobody seems to know what is happening at Churachandpur and Pherzawl and even Moreh.

Not that such a reality was not anticipated.

It was just a little more than a year ago that The Sangai Express had suggested the opening of refugee camps, something along the line of Mizoram, not to encourage intruders, but to help the State keep a tab on the movement of the people from across the border.

The argument is simple enough. That the Kuki-Zo community who are here in Manipur share a close kindred tie with the infiltrators from the across the border is well known.

It is for this very reason why Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga defied instructions of New Delhi and opened the doors to those seeking refuge in Mizoram.

That Imphal preferred to sleep over the matter, despite the detection of a large number of refugees at Churachandpur earlier, is there for all to see and it should say something significant that a hue and cry has been raised over illegal immigrants from across the inter-national border only now.

Even today, no exact overall figure on the number of infiltrators from across the border is available or if it is available it has not been made public.

Compounding matter is the fact that not an inch of the border at Kamjong is fenced.

It is not The Sangai Express which is saying this, but an officer, the Deputy Commissioner of Kamjong who has pointed this out and there should be no room for argument or a second opinion here.

This is the very reason why The Sangai Express deemed it fit to carry the picture of a bamboo fence put up along the border and which was uploaded on the social media by a responsible gentleman from Ukhrul district headquarters a few days back.

Interesting to note that the caption accompanying the bamboo fencing at the international border read ‘This is not a homestead fencing, but a bamboo fence put up on the Indo-Myanmar border.’

This is the reality and the question is, how is Imphal responding to the reality at the border ?

The ongoing clash has obviously occupied the energy and mind of the people and the Government too, but when one talks about the clash, then shouldn’t primacy be given to border security ?

Even as the Kamjong side of Manipur seems to have been literally left open for immigrants to enter at will, it is disturbing to note that some armed persons, suspected to be PDF militants, were seen fleeing across the international border on seeing security personnel combing Moreh town on November 29.

So while no rally could be staged at the border town thanks to the strict security measures, it should say something significant that some armed cadres from across the border were seen preparing their meal and drying their washed clothes near two Kuki villages.

Things cannot get more clear than this and the Government should have started working on this a long time back, in fact from the moment news started doing the round of the tense situation in Myanmar and the crackdown launched by the military junta then.

Now it is about the intense fights with the tide turning in favour of the rebels.

The first thing the Government should do is make public the number of refugees from across the border.

Secondly the public should be made aware of whether cadres of the SoO outfits stay in their designated camps or not.

This is the least the Government can do.



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