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Three Myanmarese nationals held in Manipur for stealing from burnt houses

Imphal: Manipur Police on Sunday arrested three Myanmarese nationals from Moreh in Tamenglong district for stealing furniture and electrical items from houses that were burnt down when violence broke out in the state in May, officials said.

The three have been identified as Aung Mae and Aung Aung of Tamu and Khamkhenthang Guite of Namphalong Sawbua II.

“Three Myanmarese nationals were apprehended by a team of Special Commando, Manipur Police while conducting foot patrolling in and around Moreh town around 9am today,” Chief Minister N Biren Singh wrote on ‘X’.

“The trio is suspected of stealing furniture items/electric generators from the houses which were burnt down during the recent clashes. They were handed over to the Moreh Police Station for thorough verification,” he said.

The chief minister said this happened when some particular organisations were objecting and protesting against the deployment of state police and commandos at Moreh town.

“It is apparent that these organisations do not want the presence of state forces in Moreh so that many of these Myanmarese can be brought into the country. The state government cannot keep silent on such an alarming issue of illegal migration,” the CM said.

Earlier in the day, tribal organisation Kuki Inpi Tamenglong had strongly condemned the deployment of additional state troops in the border town.

More than 180 people have lost their lives since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.

(Published 22 October 2023, 14:03 IST)

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