The Citizen’s Committee Manipur (CCM) has appealed to the manipur government that the suspected Myanmar nationals be treated humanely, transparently and by respecting their rights guaranteed by the law at every stage of the arrest and detention.
The press statement released by Babloo Loitongbam, Convenor of CCM, stated that CCM has come to learn that about a hundred suspected Myanmar citizens, including women and children, taking shelter in Churachandpur town were arrested on Tuesday morning.
CCM has also been informed that they were initially kept at the police station but were not given any food till noon, causing much hardships especially for the children. Till late afternoon they were not produced before any magistrate either but were reportedly taken to Imphal. CCM shares the anxiety of the families and friends of those arrested as their whereabouts, safety and security are not known, Babloo Loitongbam stated.
Considering the civil unrest and tumultuous situation inside Myanmar following the military coup, our brethren and sisters who have fled their home and herds seeking shelter in our land should be treated as refugees and asylum seekers as per international human rights standards and not as illegal immigrants, the CCM said.
Babloo Loitongbam further stated that the state government should desist from any attempt to forcibly repatriate them.
As done by the government of Mizoram, the government of Manipur should seriously consider adopting a smarter and more humane response to the refugee crisis, CCM said, adding that the first step could be to issue identity cards for the Myanmar nationals living in the state and setting up designated camps with basic facilities where they can spend some time before the situation back home comes to some level of normalcy.
After all, it was how the government of Manipur dealt with a similar situation in the past during the 8-8-88 crisis in the neighbouring country. Manipur shares not only a long border but also a long history with Myanmar. Hence our response to their crisis needs to be nuanced and humane, stated the CCM.