Authorities in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur have apprehended as many as 14 Myanmar nationals for allegedly entering the country using fake identity cards.
India shares a long land border of more than 1,600 km with Myanmar as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Four northeastern states -- Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram -- share an international boundary with Myanmar.
"The 14 Myanmar nationals were detained by security personnel deployed at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Manipur's capital Imphal as they were attempting to board a flight to Delhi, using fake Indian identity cards on Friday," an official told the local media on Saturday.
"All of them were subsequently handed over to the local police, who formally arrested them. The 14 foreign nationals were produced in a court that remanded 11 of them in police custody for interrogation," the official added.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh tweeted to say that his government will take stern action against anyone entering India illegally, in an apparent reference to those trying to escape the turmoil in Myanmar in the wake of the military coup earlier this year.
"The state govt. takes this matter very seriously. Stringent actions will be taken up against those people who enter the country without proper documents," Singh tweeted.
In February, India expressed “deep concern” at the military coup. “India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld,” the Foreign Ministry had said.