Crackdown against illegal Myanmar immigrants launched

Sunday, September 19, 2010

AIZAWL/AGARTALA - The Mizoram government has launched a crackdown against Myanmar nationals living in the state without documents, officials said Sunday.

“The Mizoram Armed Police in the past two days have apprehended 52 Myanmarese from Aizawl and outskirts where (they) have set up colonies,” a police spokesman said.

The official said the illegal entrants would be pushed back soon to Myanmar.

The number of Myanmarese living in different parts of Mizoram has now been estimated at around 50,000.

The Mizoram government with the permission of the union home ministry has given entry passes and temporary stay permits to Myanmarese, who work in jewellery shops, vehicular service centres, shops, restaurants and cloth factories and at construction works.

“However, a large number of Myanmar citizens illegally took entry into the state and have been staying in Mizoram,” the police official said.

Aizawl Superintendent of Police Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said the home ministry recently told the Mizoram government that the Myanmar-Mizo nationals without valid entry permits could cross the Indo-Myanmar border and travel a maximum of 16 km into northeastern state for trading.

Khiangte said the police crackdown was launched as some immigrants recently indulged in crime, including drugs related deeds.

Meanwhile, the Tripura Police have also apprehended seven Myanmarese, including four women, in Agartala after they sneaked in from Bangladesh.

“They entered the Indian territory through Sonamura border in western Tripura,” a police official said.

“During preliminary questioning, the Myanmarese told police that they tried to go to other parts of India through Tripura and Assam to find jobs,” the official said.

“Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing their country to escape atrocities by members of the rival community in Myanmar,” said one of the arrested men, Tayub.

He told the police: “We are not allowed to travel from one village to another without permission from the army. We are not even allowed to marry without the permission of the authorities.”

Since mid-1990s, over 225,000 Myanmarese have taken shelter in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. They are believed to have taken shelter in Bangladesh to escape religious oppression by the Myanmar government.

India’s four northeastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh together share a 1,643 km unfenced border with Myanmar.

will not be displayed