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BJP writes to PM on fence

Imphal, Dec. 2: BJP president Rajnath Singh wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, demanding an immediate halt to the construction of the controversial fence along the India-Myanmar border at Moreh.

A political delegation, led by chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, is camping in New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister and other ministers to highlight the fence and border issues.

The Ibobi Singh-led delegation left Imphal yesterday to urge the Centre to stop building the border fence and carry out a fresh survey of the Manipur-Myanmar border as per international norms.

The BJP and the Manipur People’s Party were not part of the political delegation. They stayed away, alleging that Ibobi Singh was not honest and sincere about the border fence issue.

The home ministry started construction of the 10-km-long fence at Moreh, 109km south of Imphal. Political parties and citizens’ bodies are opposing this move because vast tracts of Manipur’s land are left beyond the border.

The fence also divided Yangoupokpi Lokchao wildlife sanctuary, described as bio-diversity hotspot.

The BJP president took up the Manipur border issue after a team form the Manipur unit of the party called on him and highlighted the border issue a few days back.

BJP state unit president Th. Chaoba Singh said the letter to the Prime Minister was only the beginning of a “campaign” by the party to make it a national issue.

Chaoba Singh said the BJP would raise the border issue in the winter session of Parliament to draw the attention of the House on the prospect of losing Manipur’s territory to Myanmar.

In his letter, Rajnath urged the Prime Minister to stop construction of the border fence. He said the fence should only be constructed after demarcating the Manipur-Myanmar border afresh, according to international norms.

“The current fencing portion is exactly on the area of unsettled boundary line of the Indo-Myanmar international boundary line,” Rajnath said.

The BJP president also urged the Prime Minister to constitute a committee, comprising officials of the home ministry and Manipur home department, to describe and translate locations of border pillars and border landmarks, like streams and rivers, into easily legible names and language for better protection of the international boundary.

Rajnath reminded the Prime Minister that people of Manipur were “extremely sensitive” on the issue of territorial integrity and territorial boundary.

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