By Grace Jajo
Imphal, India, Mar 28 (efe-epa).- Some 300 Myanmar citizens tried to cross the border with India on Saturday, the deadliest day since the Feb. 1 military coup with over 110 deaths reported, although they were stopped by security forces.
With a shared border stretching more than 1,600 kilometers (994 miles), along which people from both sides have ethnic and even family ties, India has become one of the main destinations for Myanmar citizens fleeing military repression.
Among these bordering Indian regions is Manipur, where on Saturday “around 300 people, including children, attempted to cross over to the Indian side near Govajang Village,” located about 8 kilometers from Moreh, the most important Indian town along the border, a local police official told EFE on grounds of anonymity.
“(We) managed to stop the attempt. However the situation is still vulnerable and more reinforcement has been requested and (is) awaited,” said the official, who added that the district’s police superintendent has asked for 100 additional security force members.
Gunshots continued to be heard across the border late Saturday so there were likely to be more attempts to cross over to the Indian side, an objective already achieved by some, he added.
On Friday, three Myanmar civilians were taken to two hospitals in Imphal, the capital of Manipur, after sustaining serious injuries from bullets fired during a crackdown by the security forces in the Myanmar town of Tamu, in Sagaing region, some 5 kilometers from Moreh, considered the gateway to India.
The wounded had crossed the border through the jungle and were received by Indian activists in Moreh.
The Indian volunteers rushed them to a local hospital and then transferred them to Imphal, an official from the border town’s police headquarters, told EFE.
Several members of local youth organizations are taking turns to attend to the patients while three another Indian volunteers are acting as translators.
“The Indian government, more particularly the Manipur government saved my life. I was at the verge of death and (am) extremely grateful to everyone for saving my life,” one of the wounded, 31, told Efe.
Another, a 32-year-old laborer with two young children, arrived at the hospital unconscious after being shot in the abdomen and back but is out of danger after undergoing surgery, Dr Soreingam Kasomhung said.
The third, a 29-year-old laborer and father of a young girl, has bullet wounds to the chest and left knee as well as a head injury. He was brought unconscious to Imphal but is also out of danger after being operated on.
Two police officers are keeping vigil over the patients and updating their superiors on their condition, one of them, Assistant Sub-Inspector Riyaz Uddin told Efe.
This approach is in line with the order given on Friday by the government of Manipur, which urged local administrations and civil society organizations not to open any camps to provide food and shelter to Myanmar nationals but said that “medical attention may be provided on humanitarian considerations.”
New Delhi has issued instructions not to allow anyone to cross the border, while other border regions such as Mizoram have defied these orders.
The border crossings come amid daily crackdowns by Myanmar’s security forces that have already left more than 400 dead, despite global condemnation and the imposition of sanctions. EFE-EPA