Imphal, Sept. 6: The Okram Ibobi Singh government has urged the Union home ministry to take steps to deport foreign nationals detected during a police drive in Manipur in the past few days.
An official source said 100 Bangladeshi and Myanmarese nationals were detected during the drive, carried out in the wake of the violence that broke out between Bodos and Muslim migrants in Assam.
The Manipur government launched the drive on August 30 as a precaution to prevent an outbreak of Assam-like violence in the state.
On the first day of the drive, in the two Muslim-dominated pockets of Thoubal and Imphal East districts, 19 Myanmarese and 24 Bangladeshis were detected.
The drive continued in various parts of the state, including Jiribam, the gateway to Assam.
“We have written to the Union home ministry for deportation of the foreigners to their respective states. So far, 81 Bangladeshi and 19 Myanmarese nationals were detected. We are waiting for a response from the home ministry,” an official source said.
The foreigners are now lodged at Sajiwa Jail in Imphal.
As the issue involved sending back of foreigners, the state could not act alone, he added.
Sources said the Myanmarese entered Manipur through the border town of Moreh and Bangladeshis through Jiribam, which shares its border with Cachar district of Assam and Mao Gate along the Imphal-Dimapur highway.
More than 200 migrants heading for Manipur without any valid documents were turned away from Jiribam during the drive.
They were coming in buses and trucks heading for Imphal, the police said.
The migrant population has outnumbered the total population of indigenous tribals in Manipur. According to the 2001 census, the population of indigenous tribals is 6,70,782 while the migrant population is 7,04,488.
The total Meitei and other indigenous population is pegged at 9,18,626.
According to a study by United Committee, Manipur, an NGO, the migrant percentage is 30.71 per cent of the state’s total population.
It is also believed that Nepalis are entering and settling in Manipur illegally.
Manipur home minister Gaikhangam is on record saying that the influx of foreigners had changed the demographic structure of the Northeast and this resulted in many unwanted developments. He said the drive would continue all over the state.
In a related development, the co-ordination committee of seven militant outfits of Manipur, known as CorCom, said no one should provide houses on rent to migrants and engage them in any kind of work after December 31 this year.
It also warned that no authority should issue any identification documents to them. It appealed to transporters not to bring migrants into the state.