A jawan patrols the India-Myanmar border. File picture
Imphal, Aug. 17: The village chiefs of Ukhrul district have in a memorandum urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to erect new boundary pillars along the international border.
Earlier, people in Chandel district had objected to the construction of the fence along the Indo-Myanmar border.
“While appreciating the ongoing construction of the fence along the Indo-Myanmar border, we urge you to kindly accommodate our sentiments by erecting new international (boundary) pillars respecting traditional boundaries,” Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (Tangkhul Naga Village Chiefs’ Association) said in the memorandum.
The memorandum, signed by president of the association A.S. Vaomi and secretary D.S. Zimik, was submitted to the Prime Minister and other Union ministers, through Ukhrul deputy commissioner Sailesh Kumar Chourasia today. “We request you not to compel us to take up any form of agitation on this issue,” the memorandum said.
Assam Rifles is constructing a 10km barbed wire border fence in Chandel district for security reasons.
At present there is no plan to construct the border fence along the entire Manipur-Myanmar border. However, village chiefs in Ukhrul district, dominated by the Tangkhul Nagas, are fearing that border fence, similar to the Chandel one, would be erected in the district and village would be divided.
Various public organisations in Chandel district have been opposing the construction of the border fence claiming the border fence would divide many villages and village land would be left on the other sides of the fence.
The memorandum said that the existing border pillars in Ukhrul district were erected forcibly and without the consent of the land owners.
“The considered international pillars that stand today between India and Myanmar have not been erected based on the traditional and historical boundaries of our forefathers. As the rightful land owners, we cannot accept those border pillars erected either before or after Independence under any circumstances,” the memorandum said.
Reiterating the Nagas’ aspirations to live under one administrative unit, the memorandum said the Nagas would safeguard their ancestral homeland at any cost and they would not part with even an inch of their land because “the Nagas are inseparable.”
The association also submitted the memoranda to the external affairs minister Salman Khurshid, U Aung Khin Soe, ambassador of Myanmar to India, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and state governor Ashwani Kumar.
The memorandum also reminded the Centre about the United Naga Council’s demand for an alternative administrative arrangement for Nagas living in Manipur.