Suara.com – The Indian border state of Manipur has finally decided to lift an order asking its officials to “politely refuse” refugees crossing from Myanmar.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, Manipur, said the instructions had been “misinterpreted”.
The previous order was issued amid reports of refugees from Myanmar entering Manipur, which is located in northeast India. Many of them fled after a military coup last month that toppled democratic governments.
On Tuesday, the interior ministry issued a second order stating that the state government was taking “all humanitarian measures” and “continuing to provide all assistance”, including caring for injured refugees from Myanmar.
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Although the first order, dated March 26, said anyone “seriously injured” could receive medical treatment, it prohibited the establishment of camps that provided food or shelter.
The order also calls on officials to stop any attempts to register refugees in India’s national biometric identity scheme, Aadhaar.
“Anyone attempting to enter / seek asylum must be politely refused,” the order read.
The agreement between India and Myanmar allows citizens in the two countries to cross the border and stay in the neighboring country for up to 14 days. However, the border has been closed since March last year due to Covid-19.
The number of refugees from Myanmar who have entered India since the coup is difficult to determine, but some estimates put the number at 700.
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The number is expected to increase as violence against anti-coup protesters continues.
Earlier this month, a group of police officers from Myanmar crossed into India. They told the BBC they fled after refusing military orders to shoot protesters.
On February 1, the military, led by Min Aung Hlaing and his generals, took control of Myanmar. They arrested Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party which won a landslide victory in the general election.
Protests against the coup have been brutally suppressed – more than 500 people have died in the violence since February 1, according to the Political Prisoners Assistance Association (AAPP). The monitoring group said the true figure was probably higher.
On Saturday alone, more than 100 people died, including children.
On this day the generals held a military parade to commemorate Armed Forces Day, an annual holiday that marked the start of Myanmar’s military resistance to Japanese occupation in 1945.
India was one of the countries whose delegates attended the parade, reaping a lot of criticism. Officials from Russia, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand were also present at the parade.
That same night, the generals threw a lavish party, which sparked outrage and criticism.