‘Immigrants outnumber local residents’

Phungyar MLA raises alarm on influx of Myanmarese refugees.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 14 May 2024, 3:49 am

(File Photo: IFP)
(File Photo: IFP)

Phungyar (ST) assembly constituency, MLA Leishiyo Keishing has raised alarms on the threats posed by the influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar into the state, urging Chief Minister N Biren Singh to deport the refugees back to their respective places.

In a letter addressed to the chief minister on May 9, he raised concerns on the continuous influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar since November 2023, stating that the numbers of immigrants in shelter homes at various locations have outnumbered the local residents. They are being provided with basic needs like foodgrains, water supply, power supply, even roofings and other essential commodities, it said. 

It mentioned that many untoward incidents have been reported where local residents were beaten up over tussles on daily wages earning and domestic issues in which local law enforcing agencies find difficulties to apprehend and control such situations due to understrength of the police personnel posted at the border area. 

Even local customary law cannot not control or bind them because of the foreign customary practices and beliefs of the refugees, it stated. 

It further mentioned that there have been numerous incidents of killings and kidnappings of local residents committed by the immigrants, but the culprits could not be apprehended as they abscond and cross the border where neither customary law nor Indian law could be enforced.


The refugee population has surpassed 5,800 individuals and the biometric data for 5,173 persons has been captured under the supervision of district administration, it mentioned.

He urged Chief Minister N Biren to take up urgent measures to find a suitable plan and arrangement to deport the refugees to their respective villages in their country or find a suitable place to shelter them under strict supervision.

He also cautioned against granting Indian citizenship to the refugees, citing historical precedents from 1968. History of granting Indian citizenship to immigrants is not repeated thereby the current situation like unrest or crisis be avoided in the future. He further stated to strengthen arm police at the border area to increase.

It may be recalled that Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday highlighted the pressing issue of illegal immigration from Myanmar, revealing staggering figures of migrants seeking refuge in the state. 

He told the media that the Manipur government has detected as many as 5,801 illegal migrants in Kamjong district to date, while 15 individuals have tragically succumbed to natural causes and 359 have voluntarily returned to Myanmar. 


At present 5,457 illegal Myanmar migrants are currently taking shelter in designated camps across eight villages in Kamjong district alone, he said, highlighting the gravity of the situation with the scale of the influx. However, the remaining migrants face uncertainty, exacerbated by recent bombings by the Myanmar army, he added. 

He maintained, in response, the Kamjong district administration, along with the police department, has initiated biometric data collection and intensified security measures around designated camps. Furthermore, plans are underway for the re-verification of all migrants and deportation once the situation in Myanmar stabilises, CM Biren. 

Despite calls from the International Committee of Jurists to halt deportations, the chief minister reiterated the government's commitment to safeguarding the interests of Manipur's indigenous community.

"To protect the state which has already been affected by various challenges and threats posed by illegal immigration, forest encroachment and poppy plantation, we will continue the deportation of illegal immigrants,” the CM said.

He also informed that the Home department on Saturday appointed 10 civil and police nodal officers. Two nodal officers each will be checking and monitoring influx of illegal migrants in five districts bordering Myanmar namely Chandel, Tengnoupal, Kamjong, Ukhrul and Churachandpur, besides vigil by another special team, he added.


First published:


immigrantsleishiyo keishingMyanmarese refugees

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur


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