Manipur police have arrested a local for harbouring a couple from Myanmar who had entered the state illegally. The two Myanmar nationals have been arrested along with the local, police sources said.
The arrested couple has been identified as one Limdai Merr (Husband) and Veikhohat Hatnu (wife) while the local who harboured them has been identified as Angom Chinglen, a resident of Phayeng Kharang Khunou in Imphal West, the police said.
The police said, the couple was arrested during a search operation conducted by the Manipur police commando based on an intelligence report on March 9 at Angom Chinglen's house. The couple has been living at Angom Chinglen's house without proper documentation since March 6, 2023, police said.
The Manipur police also recovered two Aadhaar cards and two mobile handsets from their possessions.
According to the police, based on preliminary examination, it was found that Limdai Merr stayed in Nagaland since 2008. He studied theology for two years at Amazing Grace College, Dimapur, and for another three years at Nagaland Theological College.
After working in Kiphire district of Nagaland for one year as Theological Teacher, in May 2017 he returned to Myanmar to work as Pastor in Layshi Township till 2019. From 2019 to 2020 he was working as a missionary in Yangon, Myanmar.
He married Veikhohat Hatnu in November 2022, in Yangon. On December 31, 2022, they came to Homalin Township as his wife's relatives were settled there. And, in January 2023, they entered India from Shera village, Sagaing Region, Myanmar to Avakhong village, Kiphire district, Nagaland.
They generated the Aadhaar cards with the help of his grand uncle, Zion Merr, at Mimi village in Nagaland. On February 9, 2023, Angom Chinglen brought the couple from Nagaland to Manipur.
It stated that Limdai Merr came to know Angom Chinglen through Facebook since 2022 and he was told by Angom Chinglen to learn Bible at his house with scholarship assistance from Berean Multiplying Movement, and eventually become member of the Mission, Berean Multiplying Movement after one year.
Angom Chinglen is working as a Christian missionary under Berean Multiplying Movement since 2015, the Christian mission based at Ranchi, Jharkhand whose director is Sunit Ekka.
In connection with the incident, a press meet was conducted on Sunday at Old Secretariat IPR Minister Sapam Ranjan office chamber.
The IPR minister said that necessary legal action under the Foreigners Act and relevant sections of IPC have been initiated against the three persons.
A case has been registered under FIR No 93 (3) 2023 LSG-PS under Section 468/471/420/212/34 IPC r/w Section 14A(b) Foreigners Act, 2004 and the three accused persons have been remanded into police custody for a period six days till March 14.
The minister appealed to people to stop harbouring illegal immigrants. The state government is taking it seriously and strong action will be initiated against those who support illegal entry and providing forged Aadhaar, he added.