June 8, 2023

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80 Burmese fled to India after the coup

This content was released on June 29, 2022 – 18:56

Imphal (India), June 29 (EFE) .- Indian authorities today announced the arrest of 80 undocumented Burmese who had fled Burma (Myanmar), like thousands, after the February 1, 2021 coup.

“None of the detainees, including 25 men, 35 women and 20 children, had any proper documentation to prove their presence in the Indian territory and revealed that they were all Myanmar citizens,” an unnamed police official told Efe.

“None of them speak Hindi, English or Manipuri, and only a few understand the local dialect,” the agent added, adding that the detainees were not from the region.

They were arrested during a police raid in Surasanpur district in the northeastern state of Manipur. Many of them were in their homes at the time of their arrest, and some are on the streets of the city.

According to police, the detainees may have been brought to Manipur as textile workers, most of whom were found in rooms full of looms and weaving equipment.

“They are not our enemies. We understand that the political situation in the country of their birth compels them to flee for safety. We will treat them as our guests,” another official told Efe.

All his cell phones were seized on the instructions of the head of the regional government, “he added.

The arrests came in the wake of the May 2021 Manipur High Court ruling that Burmese should be treated as asylum seekers, not undocumented immigrants, given the political situation in the neighboring country.

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Another 46 Burmese nationals, including five children, were detained by Indian authorities a year ago and are being held in detention centers without knowing for sure whether they will be deported back to Burma.

The Manipur Citizens’ Committee called on the people to “take into account the turbulent situation in Myanmar after the military coup”.

The civil society has demanded that “our brothers who have left their homes and many who have taken refuge in our land should be treated as refugees and asylum seekers by international standards.”

India shares a 1,000-mile border with Burma, and the Mizoram border states and Manipur, where Mizo-Indian people have strong ethnic ties, have received at least 4,000 refugees in the past year and a half.

India, which did not attend the 1951 Refugee Conference, has openly asked its border areas not to accept the arrival of Burmese because they have no legal protection. EFE

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