New Twist To Border Row Now, Myanmar blames India for encroachment, holds rally

Published on December 25, 2013

Imphal: In a new twist to the protracted India-Myanmar border fencing row, a large number of Myanmar Nationals staged a protest rally in their country today, demanding an instant halt of the ongoing construction of Integrated Check Post (ICP) building at Manipur’s Moreh town. They claim that the construction site belongs to Myanmar.

This came barely twenty days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured an all political party delegation from Manipur that not an inch of land in Indian territory on Manipur border would be conceded to the neighboring country. Manipur shares a 398-kilomtre border with Myanmar.

The ICP building is currently being constructed near Moreh gate No. 1 to streamline and systematise the Indo-Myanmar commercial activities and in view of India’s ambitious ‘Look East Policy’ even as a legion of Myanmar troops have stationed themselves along the porous border on their side, constraining the Indian forces to remain on high alert at Moreh.

Organized jointly by Tamu Youth Network (TYN) , Chin Win Youth Network (CWYN) and some political parties including the National League for Democracy (NLD), the rally kicked off from Namphalong area close to Moreh town around 8 am and marched up to Tamu district headquarters, about a distance of five Kilometres, a source informed The Sangai Express.

Numbering around 2000, the rallyists demanded that India stops construction of the ICP building till the border row is settled. They also urged India to respect international laws and the friendship relations between the two countries.

The Myanmar authorities have also sealed all border gates connecting between the two countries till noon even as the Assam Rifles, which is guarding the border areas in Chandel district, maintained a sharp vigil to face any eventualities.

The long-drawn-out border row snowballed after Myanmar troops attempted to open its camp at Hollenphai village 3 kilometres south of Moreh police station since August 22, claiming that the area lies within Myanmar map.

Many civil bodies and the opposition parties of the state have expressed apprehension over Manipur losing large chunks of her territory due to the border fencing exercise, which has now been stopped following the centre’s instruction.

Taking serious note of the issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on December 4 assured the state political delegation that Indian territory in Manipur’s land would remain intact.

The following day Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde instructed the Border Roads Organization (BRO) to immediately stop the fencing work till the matter is resolved.

On December 7, a joint team of central officials and a delegation of an all political parties led by Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam inspected the border fencing along Moreh sector in Manipur.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Border Management, BRO, Surveyor General of India and Assam Rifles were part of the central team.

Source: Sangai Express – December 25, 2013

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