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Manipur to set up shelter home at Moreh for Myanmar refugees

The Manipur government is considering setting up a temporary shelter home in the border town of Moreh to accommodate around 5,000 immigrants who fled from conflict-torn Myanmar, officials said on Tuesday.

A ministerial team comprising three state ministers — Letpao Haokip, Awangbow Newmai and Th Basanta Singh — had on Monday visited Moreh along the Myanmar border to study the area where the shelter home is expected to be set up. They also interacted with the Myanmarese immigrants.

An official said that the Myanmar nationals would be given temporary shelter in the shelter home and would be deported to their country soon after the situation in Myanmar normalises.

The border town of Moreh is 110 km from state capital Imphal.

Among the refugees, Myanmar MP Thangsel Haokip, who is also taking shelter in Manipur, reportedly informed the ministerial team that they would like to take shelter in the Indian territory as the violent clashes between the Myanmar military and the People’s Defence Force (PDF) rebels continue in the Saingang region of Myanmar that borders with the Indian states of Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.

Amid the clashes between the Myanmar army and the resistance group PDF, the Manipur government has deployed additional security forces and asked the Assam Rifles to maintain strict vigil along the international border.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had earlier said that the security along the India-Myanmar border with Manipur has been tightened to avoid untoward incidents.

According to security officials and the district administration, round-the-clock foot patrolling has been intensified along the international border. Besides, additional forces comprising Manipur State Rifles, police and other security personnel have also been deployed.

Manipur shares around 400 km unfenced border with Myanmar, which is the main source of smuggling of drugs, golds, exotic animals, poppy seeds and other contrabands.

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