The Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has directed the jail authority of Imphal Central Jail for releasing six minors and their guardians and hand them over to the state home department for keeping them in the declared detention centre or to deport them to their country.
A Myanmar national filed a complaint before the MHRC on behalf of six Myanmar minors with their mothers, grandmothers and guardians who are lodged in Manipur's central jail after being arrested and detained by the police and sent to judicial custody as per order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Churachandpur. They are in the Imphal Central Jail even after serving the sentence period with their mothers and guardians.
The report from SP of Imphal Central Jail stated that the name of six minors are different from the name mentioned in the jail record. Not one of the children was detained or arrested by the police, but they were kept in safe custody with their mothers, grandmothers and guardians who were arrested by the police under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, being nationals of Myanmar, as they entered the state without any valid passport or documents.
It also reported that they were remanded in judicial custody after being convicted on July 28, 2022 and August 10, 2022 and then, sentenced to five-month imprisonment. However, despite completion of the sentence period, they are languishing in Imphal Central Jail.
The SP had written to the concerned authority for deportation to their country and keeping in detention centre during the process of deportation as directed by the court.
According to the jail authority, they have taken up the matter with the commissioner (home), government of Manipur to deport them to Myanmar from where they entered into Manipur.
The jail authority should have released them immediately following the necessary procedures, so that they can be either deported to their own country or they should be sent to foreigners detention centre, stated the commission.
"We could understand the difficulty of jail authority and rightly the convict prisoners could not release like other prisoners without informing the state government or sending them to detention centre as declared by the state", stated the commission.
The commission further stated that the home department, government of Manipur should take up the matter with the union government of India, so that the union government can take up the matter with Myanmar government for their deportation.