31 Myanmar nationals held in Tripura

Illegal influx of Myanmarese nationals into India through Bangladesh has continued, with 31 held for sneaking into Tripura, police said here on Saturday. Among the arrested were nine children and seven women.

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2011, 14:05 PM IST

Agartala: Illegal influx of Myanmarese nationals into India through Bangladesh has continued, with 31 held for sneaking into Tripura, police said here on Saturday. Among the arrested were nine children and seven women.

With this, 83 Myanmarese nationals, comprising Rohingya Muslim and Buddhist tribals, seeking jobs in India have crossed over to Tripura state from Bangladesh since mid last year.

"All the 31 Myanmarese nationals were arrested by the police at Bokafa, 90 km from Agartala, late Friday night," sub-divisional police official Amitava Paul told reporters.

"They told the interrogators that they are planning to leave for elsewhere in India via Guwahati in search of jobs," he said.

"All the foreign nationals are Rohingya Muslims who entered Tripura illegally through Sabroom border from Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of southeast Bangladesh," he added.

On Saturday, the Myanmarese nationals were presented before a local court, which sent them to 14 days` judicial custody. The illegal entrants would be sent to Bangladesh after completion of legal formalities, the police official said.

They told the police officials that authorities in Myanmar were indifferent to the problems of the people living in the hilly areas bordering India and Bangladesh.

"Intermittently, the Myanmarese Army has unleashed atrocities on a section of nationals, especially Rohingya Muslim and Buddhist communities," the official said after interrogating the Myanmarese nationals.

Over 50,000 Myanmarese have been living in different parts of neighbouring Mizoram, bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh, and working at various shops and factories after obtaining work permits.

Since the mid-1990s, over 225,000 Myanmar nationals, mostly Rohingya Muslims, have been sheltering in the Teknaf region in Cox`s Bazar district of southeastern Bangladesh.

Four Indian northeastern states of Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam share an 1,880-km border with Bangladesh, while Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh share a 1,640-km unfenced border with Myanmar.

The mountainous terrain, dense forests and other hindrances make the unfenced borders porous and vulnerable, enabling illegal immigrants and intruders cross over without any hurdle.

IANS