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“Misconstrued”: Manipur govt withdraws ‘no refuge for Myanmarese’ order

The state Home department's instructions to the deputy commissioners of Chandel, Tengnoupal, Kamjong, Ukhrul, and Churachandpur had even asked them to ensure that Aadhar enrolment was stopped immediately and the kits used in the procedure were taken to safe custody.

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New Delhi:  Seemingly after drawing a lot of criticism and backlash on social media, the Manipur government has finally withdrawn an earlier order against local authorities setting up food and shelter camps for Myanmar citizens entering India due to the ongoing turmoil in the neighbouring country. The order, sent out on March 26, had asked border officials to “politely turn away” those seeking refuge in India.

The state Home department’s instructions to the deputy commissioners of Chandel, Tengnoupal, Kamjong, Ukhrul, and Churachandpur had even asked them to ensure that Aadhar enrolment was stopped immediately and the kits used in the procedure were taken to safe custody.

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The officials had been asked to submit an ‘action taken report’ on the matter by today, the NDTV reported.

Withdrawing the order, the Home department Monday wrote again to the same officials on the matter.

“It appears that the contents of the letter have been misconstrued and interpreted differently…In order to avoid this misunderstanding I am directed to convey the decision of the government that it has decided to withdraw the letter dated 26.03.2021 mentioned above,” H Gyan Prakash, Special Home Secretary to the state government, said in yesterday’s letter.

“The government has been taking all humanitarian steps…including taking them (refugees) to Imphal, to treat the injured Myanmarese nationals. The state government continues to provide all aid,” he wrote.

Myanmar’s Ambassador to the United Nations had earlier appealed to India and the various governments of its states bordering the country to provide shelter to refugees given the humanitarian crisis unfolding there.

India has been expecting refugees from Myanmar ever since the neighbouring country’s military junta opened fire on protesting civilians in nine regions of the country on Friday, killing scores of people, including children.

The Biren Singh government’s order for Manipur had drawn a lot of criticism on social media, with many dubbing it inhuman and going against India’s long-cherished tradition of hospitality.

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