Myanmar Nationals Allowed to Flee Regime for India After Initially Being Blocked

By The Irrawaddy 30 March 2021

Authorities in India’s Manipur State reversed their order to turn back Myanmar nationals fleeing from Sagaing Region’s Tamu on Saturday, according to the Imphal Free Press.

On March 26, home affairs authorities in Manipur issued an instruction not to provide assistance to Myanmar nationals fleeing to India following the military’s Feb.1 coup.

However, on March 30 the Special Secretary (Home Affairs) of the Manipur government said that the previous order had been misinterpreted and that he has decided to withdraw the previous letter in order to avoid misunderstandings.

“The state government has been taking all humanitarian steps, including taking injured Myanmar nationals to Imphal for treatment. The state government continues to provide all aid,’ said Special Secretary Gyan Prakash.

A Tamu resident said on March 29 that the Manipur authorities were accepting elderly people, children and those holding valid ID cards.

“They accept elderly persons and children. It appears that they accept those holding Myanmar citizenship ID cards and those who have contacts in Manipur. But they’re not accepting the mass of people who don’t have contacts in India. Some people from Chin villages at the border have fled. But the young villagers can’t flee,” she said.

One civilian died and seven others were injured in Tamu during security forces’ crackdowns on anti-regime protesters on March 25 and 26.

“I think it is still unnecessary for Tamu residents to flee from their homes. The situation here is not as bad as in other places. Fleeing can cause fear and could lead to a further exodus. I am participating in the protests. I can flee but I have not. I would like to ask the people to support each other,” said one Tamu resident.

Despite the violent crackdowns, Tamu residents have continued resisting the junta’s rule.

Although Myanmar nationals fleeing from Tamu were turned back at the Manipur border, India’s Mizoram State authorities are providing shelter for hundreds of striking police, government employees and civilians.

On March 21, Mizoram Chief Minister Pu Zoramthanga held talks with acting foreign minister Daw Zin Mar Aung of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, a body representing the deposed parliamentarians of the National League for Democracy. The Mizoram chief minister has also urged the Indian government to help Myanmar nationals fleeing to India.


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