Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by SPN Editor
Chief Minister N Biren on Sunday described sheltering of illegal influx from Bangladesh and Myanmar as the “biggest threat” to Manipur and announced that a “house-to-house survey” will be conducted soon to identify such people. Raising serious concern over the illegal influx from Bangladesh and Myanmar, N Biren told reporters that steps will be initiated against those locals who are allowing such foreigners to live in their houses on rent.
CM Biren has made an earnest appeal to the people of the State for their full support and cooperation in identifying illegal influx from Bangladesh and Myanmar who are staying illegally in the State by violating the Inner Line Permit System (ILP).
Briefing media persons this evening at the Cabinet Hall of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, CM N Biren said the issue has today reached an alarming stage. Today there is a threat looming large on our society, and we are seeking cooperation and support of the people, he said further calling on the public to inform the police or district administration against any illegal immigrant.
Biren said that with the setting up of the Population Commission in the State at the earliest, a house-to-house survey will be conducted soon and appealed to all against renting out rooms or selling land to illegal foreigners, influx and immigrants. He said legal action could be taken against any house owner found renting out or housing illegal foreigners.
The Chief Minister said the government has also already announced 1961 as the base year for the ILP Act.
The government will soon launch its mechanism to trace foreigners including face recognition cameras, and apps to regulate entry and exit, Shri N.Biren Singh said, adding that an operation was launched to identify individuals who have entered the State and remained untraceable for a certain period of time.
The Chief Minister further said till yesterday, in the operation against ILP defaulters, the government identified and arrested around 613 illegal violators and they have been booked accordingly, of which some have been deported. The main worry is that most of these violators are illegal influx Bangladesh with some from Myanmar, the Chief Minister added.
Biren said the indigenous people of Manipur have small populations and highlighted the apprehension that it wouldn’t be long before the illegal influx from Bangladesh and Myanmar outnumber the indigenous population. He added that understanding the gravity of the situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the State the Inner Line Permit System.
Illegal influx from Bangladesh
However, due to certain doubts, and dishonesty among ourselves, we are facing various hindrances in identifying these illegal foreigners, the Chief Minister said citing the story of an illegal migration from Bangladesh or illegal influx from Bangladesh who entered India through the Malda district of West Bengal and into Manipur in 1990 without any valid papers, according to the man’s own admission to the police after his arrest on October 7, 2022 from Khabeishoi by a team of Lamlai Police.
Highlighting that the man is said to have acquired a driving license and Aadhar card from the State, CM N Biren said all the said documents have been seized and a case lodged.
However, the main concern is how much illegal influx from Bangladesh and Myanmar must have already infiltrated into our communities, he said, adding that the man who entered the State in 1990 was arrested only in 2022.
During the press briefing, the Chief Minister was accompanied by Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam, CAF&PD Minister L.Susindro Meitei, and Education Minister Th. Basanta Kumar Singh, Transport Minister Kashim Vashum, DGP P. Doungel, and other senior police officers.
Illegal Influx from Myanmar
Meanwhile, the neighbouring state Mizoram is also facing threats from the illegal influx from Myanmar. Around 30,500 Myanmarese are sheltered in Mizoram since the military junta seized power in their country in February last year and intermittent clashes going on with the civilian forces, smuggling of drugs, foreign cigarettes, gold, dried areca nuts, exotic animals and other contraband from Myanmar has increased to a large extent.
Increased number of Myanmar nationals involved in narcotics smuggling in Mizoram causing concern as Myanmarese is being allured by the drug syndicate and kingpins to earn money easily. They are vulnerable targets for such illegal activities.
The Churachandpur town of Manipur is slowly becoming the den of Myanmar nationals. Earlier this year, Manipur police also arrested at least 80 Myanmar nationals, including women and children, who were illegally staying in the Churachandpur district. Most of them were found in two rented accommodations.
Various Civil Society organisations in Manipur have alerted the State government and were worried about the illegal influx from Bangladesh and Myanmar taking over the hills of Manipur.