Thursday, July 7, 2022

Manipur urges New Delhi to suspend border fencing

Correspondent

Border fencing works along the disputed Manipur sector of the Indo-Myanmar border will be suspended with immediate effect, said chief minister N Biren Singh on Thursday while appealing people to calm down.
A delegation of United Committee Manipur (UCM) that had earlier visited the border area recently found that fencing work at the Manipur sector of the Indo-Myanmar which remained suspended for a long time following strong objections from various civil society organizations had re-commenced
After failure to get a positive response to stop the re-commenced fencing with strong allegation of conceding a large chunk of Manipur’s land to Myanmar, UCM has been protesting since Tuesday.
The protest turned violent on Wednesday after police resorted to firing teargas shells and mock bombs to disperse the protesters at Khurai Lamlong Bazar.
Talking on the sideline of a function here today, the chief minister said that the state government has written to the concerned Union ministry of home affairs to suspend the ongoing fencing works at the disputed areas.
He, however, said that the fencing at the undisputed borderline will be continued as border fencing was a must for checking cross border smuggling of illegal goods.
The erection of the fencing will be able to check smuggling of illegal goods, particularly contraband drugs, and the influx of illegal migrants into the state. It will also enable to check smuggling of urea fertilizers to Myanmar, he added.
An official source said that Special secretary (Home) H Gyan Prakash of Manipur government has written a letter to the Union home secretary regarding the matter on Wednesday (June 22).
The letter requested the Union home secretary for partial suspension of the ongoing border fencing work along the Manipur sector of the Indo-Myanmar border while apprising of the tense situation arising out protests under the aegis of the UCM against fencing work at a disputed area. The Border Road Organization (BRO) reportedly re-commenced the fencing work along the Manipur sector of the Indo-Myanmar border from border pillar (BP) 79 to BP 81 covering a distance of 10 km from Moreh to Kwatha in Tengnoupal district.
The UCM is vehemently opposing the border fencing and has alleged that some of the border pillars, especially BP 81 and 82 were shifted towards Indian side from the actual international border, the letter informed.
The law and order situation of the state may worsen in the coming days as the UCM announced intensifying agitations if the fencing work is not suspended until the border dispute is settled first, the state government said in the letter.
It urged the Union home ministry to direct the BRO to suspend the border fencing work where the position of border pillar is disputed, especially BP 81 and 82 until the dispute is resolved through dialogue.
In the letter, the state government also requested the Union home ministry to depute a team of the ministry and Survey of India for holding a thorough discussion regarding the position of the disputed BPs.
The border fencing in other undisputed areas may be allowed to continue, the letter informed.

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