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Myanmar plea on checkpost

Imphal, Dec. 8: Authorities in Myanmar have written to their Indian counterparts today to stop the construction of an integrated checkpost at Moreh, a day after a central team visited the border town for spot verification.

The commandant of 87 Light Infantry Regiment based at Tamu town of Myanmar, Lt Col Tun Lwin Aung, wrote to Col Anna Dey, the commandant of 9 Assam Rifles at Moreh, seeking a halt to the construction of the checkpost, claiming that it was on a “disputed site”.

Official sources at Moreh said Myanmar was claiming that some portions of the land where the checkpost is coming up belonged to it.

The details of the letter are not known.

However, an official source confirmed that the letter had been received.

Sources believe that the joint secretary of the Union home ministry, Shambhu Singh, who led the central team to Moreh yesterday, and is now camping in Imphal, has been apprised of the letter.

Manipur deputy chief minister Gaikhangam in Moreh yesterday instructed the Assam Rifles and state police deployed there to be alert and report any intrusion by Myanmar to the state government and the Centre.

He, however, made it very clear to government officials and security forces that they should not resort to anything that would provoke the neighbouring country.

Gaikhangam had led a political delegation accompanying the central team yesterday.

“The deputy chief minister appealed to the Assam Rifles, police and local residents to report any development (intrusion) by Myanmar army or authorities into Manipur territory,” an official source told The Telegraph today.

Gaikhangam gave the instructions to the security forces after local residents reported that some Myanmar military personnel had visited the construction site to protest, before the central team reached Moreh yesterday.

Senior police officials pacified the Myanmarese team and they went back.

Shambhu Singh is also reported to have stated categorically while in Moreh yesterday that the checkpost was on Indian territory.

“We will tell them (Myanmar) in no uncertain terms that, according to us, the integrated checkpost is on Indian territory and they have no business to interfere,” Shambhu Singh was quoted saying.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent the central team to Moreh after a joint political delegation of Manipur, led by chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, met him in New Delhi earlier this week to seek demarcation of the Manipur-Myanmar border.

The central team yesterday also visited Hollanphai, a Kuki village of Manipur, 3km from Moreh, where the Myanmar army recently tried to set up a base.


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