Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday claimed that 5,457 “illegal immigrants had been found in the state’s Kamjong district, out of which the biometric data of 5,173 was collected.

Singh said that the number was recorded as on Tuesday and that the process of deporting them was underway.

“We have been giving humanitarian aides to all the illegal immigrants who were detected so far,” Singh said in a social media post. “Despite being an alarming situation, we have been handling it with utmost sensitivity.”

Kamjong district shares its eastern border with Myanmar.

Manipur has been gripped by ethnic clashes between the Kuki and the Meitei communities since May 2023. The violence has left at least 224 persons dead and displaced 60,000 people from their homes since the beginning of the clashes.

In September, Singh had attributed the ethnic conflict to the free movement of people from across the Myanmar border.

The pro-democracy militia in Myanmar is fighting the neighbouring country’s military junta that returned to power in a coup in February 2021. This instability has forced Myanmar nationals to flee the country and seek refuge in India, including in Mizoram and Manipur. As of April 30, 86,000 persons had sought refuge in India, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

On May 2, Singh said that the first phase of the deportation of undocumented migrants from Myanmar had been completed after 38 of them exited India through Moreh, which is a town located along India’s border with Myanmar in Tengnoupal district.

“A total of 77 illegal immigrants have been deported in the first phase,” Singh had said in a social media post.