Temporary Shelter Home at Moreh Acknowledging the reality

Acknowledging the reality. Instead of RC, opt for TSH, that is instead of Refugee Camp  open a Temporary Shelter Home. This is the line the State Government has struck now and this is in sync with the growing likelihood that many would have crossed over the international border to take shelter in Manipur, given the intense crackdown launched by the Tatmadaw in Myanmar. A line which The Sangai Express had been advocating ever since the coup in neighbouring Myanmar, followed by the detection of quite a large number of illegal immigrants from across the border at Churachandpur some time back. That the Government preferred to adopt the ‘Ostrich with its neck in the sand’ metaphor all this while is a different story but heartening to note that a decision has been taken to open a temporary shelter home at Moreh to house the refugees. The very fact that a team of legislators including Ministers and high ranking Government officials interacted with a number of refugees taking shelter at Haolenphai on the Indo-Myanmar border on  March 26 should tell its own very significant story. Encouraging to note too that a decision has been taken to issue identity cards/certificates to all the refugees and this is the way to go about with dealing the issue at hand. That refugees from across the border would make a beeline for the many villages located on the border area was a foregone conclusion and the best option left before the State Government would have been to open camps/shelter homes, call it what one wants, but acknowledge their presence here and work out the modalities to help the authority concerned keep a tab on their movement. This is all that more crucial given the fact that many from across the international border share close filial ties with many communities here in Manipur and given the close physical similarities, it would not have been that difficult to merge with the local population. It is this reality which  the Government should acknowledge and opening a shelter home and providing identity cards to the folks from across the border is the best step to tackle the current issue. The State Government will also have to deal with the distinct possibility of opening such more shelter homes in the coming days, for there is nothing to indicate that situation across the border would normalise any time in the near future. 
Keep an official record on the number of refugees here and in the process ensure that they do not merge with the locals to later claim that they are bonafide citizens of the land. This is the way to go about dealing with the situation and perhaps this is the right time to question on the status of the refugees who were earlier detected at Churachandpur. Where are they being housed ? Does the Government have any idea on their movement within the State ? This is about the folks who have been detected but how many have merged with the local population undetected ? The probability is high and this is where the call for a National Register of Citizens gains credence. Infiltration from across the border should not be understood only within the present context in the face of the military coup in the neighbouring country but also down the decades. The Government should demonstrate that it is serious about keeping a close tab on the number of illegal migrants who have entered the State and the opening of the temporary shelter at Moreh should be seen along this line. Extend a helping hand to the refugees from across the border, yet at the same time take steps to ensure that they do not merge with the local population, should be the principle in dealing with the situation. Perhaps a look at how neighbouring Mizoram is coping with the situation may help Imphal better understand the reality and accordingly take up the needed steps. All sons of the soil will surely appreciate the steps being taken up right now, though it has come a bit late.