14 Delhi-bound Myanmar nationals held at Manipur airport

Fourteen Delhi-bound Myanmar nationals, including a woman, were detained by the security personnel at the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal, the police said on Saturday.

The Manipur government has ordered an inquiry into the entry of the Myanmar nationals into the state, which shares 398 km international borders with the neighbouring country.

A police officer said that the 14 Myanmar citizens tried to travel to the national capital using fake Aadhaar cards, but they were apprehended by the security personnel on Friday when they were about to board the Delhi-bound IndiGo flight.

The Myanmar nationals, mostly in their early twenties, told the security personnel that they had crossed into Manipur through the porous border.

The foreign nationals were subsequently handed over to the Singjamei police station in Imphal West district for further legal action.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the state government has taken this matter very seriously and stringent action would be taken against those who enter the country without proper documents.

The incident took place three weeks after 26 Delhi-bound Myanmar nationals, including 10 women, were arrested on September 12 from a private lodge at Rehabari after they arrived in Guwahati from Mizoram.

Of the 26 Myanmar nationals, seven were teenagers while the rest were aged between 20 and 28 years.

Myanmar nationals, including Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and the refugee camps in Bangladesh, are often detained in different northeastern states after they illegally enter India in search of jobs or get trapped in human trafficking.

Since March, around 11,500 Myanmar nationals have taken refuge in Mizoram after the declaration of state of emergency in Myanmar on February 1.

Four northeastern states – Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram – share 1,643 km unfenced borders with Myanmar.