India deports Myanmar nationals amidst escalating border tensions News
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India deports Myanmar nationals amidst escalating border tensions

The state of Manipur in India deported 38 individuals back to Myanmar on Thursday in a bid to address the influx of refugees fleeing the political turmoil in Myanmar. This latest round of deportations brings the total number of deportees to 77 since March 8, marking the completion of the first phase of repatriation efforts.

Manipur’s Chief Minister N. Biren Singh emphasized the impartiality of the deportation process, stating, “Without any discrimination, we have completed the first phase of deportation of illegal immigrants from Myanmar.” He further highlighted the importance of maintaining border security and protecting the sovereignty of the nation.

The deportations come in response to the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, which began after the military junta seized power on February 1, 2021. Since then, thousands of Myanmar nationals, including women and children, have sought refuge in Manipur, with over 5,000 individuals currently sheltered in the state.

While India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention that set forth legal rights and protection for refugees, some of its state governments have provided humanitarian aid and shelter to those fleeing the crisis in Myanmar. In Mizoram, a state neighboring Manipur, a similar situation has unfolded over the past few decades with over 32,000 individuals seeking shelter there, including both civilians and former Myanmar soldiers. The state government has accommodated many of the refugees in relief camps and government buildings throughout Mizoram.

Despite challenges posed by sporadic violence and ethnic clashes, Manipur remains steadfast in its efforts to repatriate illegal immigrants and maintain law and order along its borders. The deportation process is being facilitated in collaboration with Myanmar officials.