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People settled in Manipur after 1961 to be deported- CM

(News Trust of India) : The statement made by the Chief Minister of Manipur about sending back people who have moved to the region after 1961 has sparked a lot of discussion. However, it is uncertain whether such an action is possible, since deportation seems unlikely without the source country recognizing these persons as citizens. The statement by Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has emphasized the plan to remove anyone who came to the state after 1961, regardless of their caste or tribe. However, analysts doubt that this direction would be successful because it is difficult to identify and remove illegal immigrants without their home country’s cooperation.

The increase in ethnic hostilities in Manipur over the past year has been blamed by state authorities on a group of people who moved from neighboring Myanmar, which has further strengthened the Chief Minister’s statement. Importantly, the focus has been on removing those who have moved to the state since 1961, regardless of their socioeconomic or ethnic background.

The problem of deportation connects with the wider question of immigrants’ rights, especially when it comes to their ability to participate in the democratic process. Political expert Pradeep Phanjoubam asks an important question on whether it is possible to send immigrants back to their home countries if such governments do not consider them as citizens. Naga leader and Forum for Restoration of Peace convenor Ashang Kashar echoes this sentiment, contending that the efficacy of deportation efforts hinges on the unequivocal identification of illegal immigrants, who should be denied privileges afforded to indigenous residents, such as the right to vote.

The long-lasting existence of a large number of immigrants in Manipur, some of whom have become part of society for many years, makes the deportation discussion more complex. There are important legal consequences to consider in these efforts, as highlighted by Ashang Kasar, who stresses the need for careful thought when navigating this complex situation. Last year’s statement by a Manipur government official, indicating the presence of over 2,000 individuals who remained in the state following political unrest in Myanmar, further highlights the varied nature of the deportation challenge.

In view of these developments, the efforts done by the central government to enhance border security along the India-Myanmar border demand attention. The admission of the issue of illegal immigration by Manipur’s administration, as described by the Chief Minister, highlights the significance of resolving this critical concern. Drawing parallels with Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) experience, as recommended by the Co-ordination Committee of People’s Organisations, offers useful insights into viable solutions for resolution.