Imphal: Even as the Home Ministry once again reiterated its stand on deporting Rohingya Muslims from India, the focus is now on the India-Myanmar border. The BJP-led Manipur which shares over 300 kilometres of border with Myanmar has already sounded a red alert to avert any attempt by the Rohingya who are fleeing Rakhine to enter India.
46 suspected illegal migrants - but not Rohingyas - have been detained in the state over the last 72 hours for entry without legal papers, official sources have said.
Apart from the Assam Rifles that guards the India-Myanmar border in the north east intensifying its vigil, the Manipur police has increased its search operation. "Our teams are on alert on both international border check gate one and two and so far we have not come across any refugees crossing this side" Ibomcha Singh, Superintendent of Police, Tengnoupal told NDTV.
In the border areas, India and Myanmar have a visa free movement protocol for people of both countries within a specific distance and till 4 pm every day on special permits for border trade.
The Manipur police is keeping a very close eye on this movement of people for trade so that the Rohingyas cannot enter in the garb of traders.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has claimed that although no Rohingya has been arrested in the state this year the state government would take no chance since the home ministry has already declared the Rohingyas as a threat to country's internal security.
India's decision to treat as illegal immigrants all 40,000 Rohingya Muslims escaping the violence in the western region of Rakhine in Myanmar has triggered criticism, including at the United Nation's top human rights body, where the agency's chief yesterday said "I deplore current measures in India to deport Rohingyas at a time of such violence against them in their country." India offered a strong rebuttal. A statement said "Like many other nations, India is concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenge. Enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion."