Thu 5 Dec 2013
Filed under: News,Regional
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday assured an all-political party delegation from Manipur that not an inch of India’s land along the Manipur-Myanmar border would be conceded to the neighbouring country.
Several civil bodies and the opposition parties fear that a large part of Manipur’s territory will fall into Myanmar in the ongoing controversial border fencing along the Manipur sector.
Bowing down to people’s pressure, the all-party delegation, led by chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, went to New Delhi to urge central leaders to resolve the border row. Representatives of BJP and Manipur People’s Party (MPP) were not part of the 22-member team.
The border issue made news after Myanmar troops attempted to set up a camp at Hollenphai village, 3km south of Moreh police station, on August 22, claiming that the area lies in Myanmar. Manipur shares a 398-km border with Myanmar.
The team submitted a memo to the PM on the issue. The memo stated that the major portion of the fence was being erected deep within Indian territory, “surrendering a huge tract of Indian land”, and demanded the fence be dismantled.
After hearing the delegation’s point of view, the PM said that he would instruct the authorities concerned to stop the construction of the border fencing and correct the error.
In another meeting, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde noted the gravity of the situation and immediately convened a meeting of all concerned on Thursday afternoon, said a statement issued by the Manipur Information Centre, New Delhi.
Representatives of Assam Rifles, Border Road Organization, Google, Surveyor General of India and the political delegation will attend the meeting, said the statement.
The memorandum also highlighted the historical aspects of Manipur’s territory and made some demands from the central leaders.
It said the fence along the Moreh sector cut through Yangoupokpi-Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary, which is part of a sensitive biodiversity spot serving as a corridor for Southeast Asian mammalian species, and an alternate corridor must be provided before the fence is constructed.
The memo also demanded that “All issues relating to the India-Myanmar International Boundary in Manipur Sector be dealt with necessarily in a tripartite manner by making Manipur government an essential party.”
It demanded a fresh survey, re-demarcation of the boundary and re-identification of border pillers, based on the boundary agreement signed between India and Myanmar on March 10, 1967, with people’s participation from both sides.
Demanding that the Surveyor General of India be instructed to publish only validated maps to avoid confusion, the memorandum also urged the central leaders to warn Google to immediately remove the erroneous India-Myanmar border maps from its website or correct the same.