The Telegraph
Tuesday , June 24 , 2014
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Move to revive border panel

Imphal, June 23: The convener of the All Party Committee on Border, R.K. Anand Singh, today said he would discuss with Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh the fresh border dispute with Myanmar and chalk out a strategy to deal with the problem.

Congress MLA Anand Sin-gh’s move to revive the panel came after the media highlighted a fresh dispute along the India-Myanmar border.

Villagers of Haolenphai, a Kuki village, south of Moreh, charged that the Myanmarese army constructed a wooden fence and set up a post inside the village land.

The Myanmarese army also allegedly forced the villagers to dismantle two houses claiming that the village land belongs to them.

The committee, comprising 15 political parties, was constituted last year after construction of a 10km border fence at Moreh by the Union home ministry through the Assam Rifles created a public furore. Border settlers and citizens’ organisations opposed the move claiming that the fence was constructed much inside Manipur’s land.

After a delegation of the committee, led by Ibobi Singh, submitted a memorandum to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Surveyor General of India sent an official team to Moreh in December to take stock of the border situation. After the team returned to Delhi, the matter was forgotten.

“Because of the Lok Sabha election, the Centre apparently put on hold the border issue with Myanmar. Since fresh dispute has come up, there is a need to reactivate the committee to take up the issue with the Centre,” Anand Singh told The Telegraph.

The convener said he would discuss the issue with the chief minister and deputy chief minister Gaikhangam and put pressure on them to take up the issue with the Centre without any delay.

Anand Singh will also urge the chief minister and deputy chief minister to set up a security post at Haolenphai vill-age. The Haolenphai villagers have been demanding a security post at the village in view of frequent “intimidation” by the Myanmarese army. The villagers said Myanmarese soldiers frequently enter the village and harass the villagers.

The political committee is expected to submit a representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a plea for continuation of the process taken up by the UPA government to resolve the border dispute by setting up of an Indo-Myanmar joint boundary commission for resurvey.

During his election address in Imphal in February, Modi had promised the people of Manipur that if he came to power, he would take up the India-Myanmar border issue very seriously.

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