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Centre alerts NE states against possible influx from coup-hit Myanmar

NEW DELHI: The Union home ministry has asked four north eastern states – Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur – as well as the Assam Rifles to take effective legal measures and maintain strict border vigil as well to avoid a potential influx of people from Myanmar into India.

The state governments have been asked to take legal steps to prevent immigration from Myanmar.

The home ministry also reminded state governments that they do not have the authority to grant “refugee” status to any alien and that India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol.

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Last week, 16 Myanmarese nationals, including eight police officers, crossed into Mizoram. Myanmar had demanded that Mizoram return the police officers.
Several people from Myanmar attempted to reach Manipur, but returned after seeing security forces, according to Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh.

Mizoram shared a 510km border with Myanmar, Manipur has a 398km border with Myanmar and Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland have 520km and 215km borders with Myanmar.

“As you are aware, there is a possibility of large-scale illegal influx into Indian territory via the India-Myanmar Border due to the current internal situation in Myanmar,” the MHA said in a communication on Wednesday.

MHA has already issued an advisory (dated February 25) to chief secretaries (of these four states) to “remain vigilant and take effective action to avoid a potential influx into Indian Territory.”

The region had earlier witnessed influx of displaced Rohingias from the country. Many entered Indian territory through the sea route and Bangladesh.

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