India-Myanmar border fence at Moreh
Imphal, Sept. 22: The NCP today urged the Okram Ibobi Singh government to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the Indo-Myanmar border issue and chalk out strategies to put pressure on the Centre to resolve the issue.
“The NCP appeals to the state government to convene an all-party meeting immediately to take up the Indo-Myanmar border issue with the Centre,” the president of the state unit of the NCP, L. Ibomcha Singh, today said.
There have been objections to construction of a barbed wire fence by the Assam Rifles along a 10km stretch of the Indo-Myanmar border at Moreh in Chandel district. It is alleged that the fence falls mostly inside Manipur’s land.
There have also been reports of attempts by Myanmar army to open a post at Hollenphai village in Chandel district. Four border pillars have been found missing in the area as well.
Citizen organisations and Opposition parties have been demanding a joint survey of the border and construction of the fence according to international norms.
The NCP president said the border issue should be put above party lines and the ruling Congress should also be involved in the efforts.
Non-Congress parties had recently held a joint meeting and visited the border areas.
“The government should arrange to send a joint delegation of the political parties to New Delhi to apprise the Centre of the border situation. Until the people of Manipur put pressure on the Centre, New Delhi will remain unconcerned,” Ibomcha Singh said.
Saying that Ibobi Singh had told the Assembly on July 17, 2002 that a joint team of India and Myanmar was conducting a survey, Ibomcha Singh demanded that the report of the survey should be made public.
The NCP leader alleged that the Centre was not concerned with the border issue in Manipur.
“I suspect that the Assam Rifles is constructing the fence much inside Manipur’s land to appease Myanmar and to compel the neighbouring country to flush out all militants of the Northeast,” he said.
Ibomcha Singh said he would apprise Prabhu Patel, the Union heavy industries minister and NCP general secretary of the border imbroglio, of the situation when he visits Guwahati and Dimapur on September 29.
Ibomcha Singh will also go to New Delhi next week to brief party president Sharad Pawar on the border issue.
“We want the Centre to consider the issue very seriously, as it does when similar issues involving the Indo-Pakistan border comes up. We also expect the Manipur government to actively participate in the movement (for settling the border issue) in public interest,” he added.