Children among 80 Myanmar nationals arrested in Manipur

The Manipur Police Tuesday arrested 80 Myanmar nationals, including women and children, who were illegally staying in the Churachandpur district of Manipur.

The police said the Myanmar nationals were apprehended from different places during a massive operation launched early in the morning in the Ngathal village, about 5km from Churachandpur police station. Those arrested include 25 men, 35 women and 20 minors. A local court remanded the 60 adults to police custody for seven days while the minors were sent to a juvenile observation home, the police said.

“Based on reliable information regarding the presence of Myanmar nationals in the Churachandpur district, particularly in the Ngathal village, a huge team of Churachandpur district police conducted a cordon and search operation from 5 am to 8.30 am,” said Th Deshorjit Singh, additional SP, Churachandpur.

During the initial house-to-house search operation in the Vaal Veng area, the police team found 40 persons living in two rented accommodations. In another raid, the police team further found 37 persons, including 13 men, 16 women and eight children, from a rented house at Vaal Veng, New Lamka, said the police.

Three more Myanmar nationals (men) were rounded up by the police from the New Bazar area of the district headquarters. The police have established that the rented places belonged to 58-year-old Biakchunga, who originally hailed from Myanmar.

Biakchunga came to Mizoram from Myanmar in 1986 and later moved to the Kwanpui area in Churachandpur district of Manipur in 2013, the police said.

The additional SP of Churachandpur said as per the initial findings of the police, it has been established that all the detained Myanmar nationals were brought to Manipur by the 58-year-old Biakchunga. The police suspect that the Myanmar nationals could have been brought to Manipur to be engaged in weaving activities as most of them were found in rooms crammed with handlooms and other weaving machines. The senior police officer further disclosed that most of the Myanmar nationals have been staying in Churachandpur district for about two years.

“They did not possess any valid documents to prove that they are Indians. None of them could speak Hindi, English or Manipuri dialect but a few of them understand a common local dialect of the district,” said the additional SP, adding, all the arrested individuals, particularly the adults, have been booked under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act.

The police said all the Myanmar nationals, including the children, were provided food and water and other necessities. Medical examinations were also conducted by a team of CMO Churachandpur. A team of senior police officers of Manipur led by ADG Clay Khongsai has inspected the places where the persons were apprehended, said the police.