Sky News Punjab
March 30th, 2021
Manipur, India’s border territory, has withdrawn an earlier order instructing officials to “politely turn away” Myanmar refugees.
The state home ministry, which had issued the first order, said its instructions had been “misconstrued”.
The previous order was released in response to reports of Myanmarese refugees entering India’s northeastern state of Manipur. Many of them are fleeing the aftermath of a military coup that deposed a democratic government last month.
On Tuesday, the home ministry issued a second order saying the state government was taking “all humanitarian steps” and “continues to provide all aid”, including treating any injured refugees.
While the first order, dated 26 March, had said anyone with “grievous injuries” could receive medical attention, it prohibited the setting up of camps that provide food or shelter. It also asked officials to stop any attempts to enrol refugees in India’s national biometric ID scheme, Aadhaar.
“People trying to enter/ seek refuge should be politely turned away,” the order said.
An agreement between the two countries allows Indians and Myanmarese to cross the border and stay up to 14 days. But the border has been closed since March last year due to Covid-19.
It’s hard to say how many refugees from Myanmar have entered India since the coup but some estimates put the number at 700.
The numbers are expected to increase as violence protest against anti-coup protesters continues.
India was one of the countries represented at the parade, which drew some criticism. Officials from Russia, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand also attended the parade. The generals also organised a lavish gala that night, which sparked indignation and condemnation.