Agartala, March 25 (IANS): Two poverty-stricken Myanmar nationals were on Saturday sentenced to two years in jail by a local court here for illegally entering India, a police official said.
A sub-divisional magistrate's court here sentenced the two Myanmarese to two years' imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 for violation of the Passport Act and the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1973.
Police had arrested the Myanmarese from the Agartala railway station in August 2010 while they were trying to go to Assam by train in search of jobs. They had entered Tripura via Bangladesh.
Since mid-2011, 95 Myanmarese, comprising Rohingya Muslims and Buddhist tribals, have crossed over to Tripura from Bangladesh, seeking jobs in India.
A police official told reporters: "The Myanmarese told the court that authorities in Myanmar were indifferent to the difficulties and issues of the people living in the mountainous regions bordering India and Bangladesh. Intermittently, the Myanmarese Army has unleashed atrocities on a section of nationals, especially Rohingya Muslims 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 a 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 to cross over without any hurdle.