CSO team led by AMUCO inpects Manipur-Myanmar border fencing

Moreh, October 22: A day ahead of the proposed inspection visit by an all-political parties team, a joint team of six civil society organisations led by All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) on Monday inspected the controversial border fencing sites along the yet to be demarcated Indo-Myanmar International boundary at Moreh that has reportedly led to loss of large tracts of Manipur’s land to the neighbouring country.

It may be noted here that as decided during an all-political parties meeting convened by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh on October 10, a 33-member all- party team led by Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, who is also in charge of Home, would now be going to inspect the disputed border areas tomorrow.

As the first stopover, the inspection team which included representatives of AMUCO, AMESCO, NRC, Senior citizens, COHR, ACODOM, Moreh and Chief of Haolenphai village Lalkholun Haokip went to the site at Haolenphai village where Myanmarese Army have not only set up their base camp but also put up wooden fencing of their own after encroaching into the land of Manipur.  They also inspected border pillar no. 76 which has been converted into border pillar no. 23 by the Myanmarese Army authority. During the inspection, the Myanmarese Army not only tried to stop the team from approaching any nearer towards the site where they have erected wooden fencing but also taking photographs by mediapersons. Instead they took the photographs of the visiting inspection team.

The inspection team also came across some Assam Rifles personnel who have been deployed in the border area. But security personnel avoided meeting the inspection team by staying away in a nearby bush.
Talking to the accompanying media persons on the sidelines of the inspection, chief of Haolenphai Lalkholun Haokip informed that when he approached the Myanmarese Army in connection with felling down of trees and setting up of their base camp on the land belonging to Haolenphai, he was threatened to be arrested and put in the jail. The Myanmarese Army also asked him to vacate Haolenphai claiming the land of the village belongs to Myanmar. For their second stopover, the inspection team to Govajang where half of the village including the land on which the local church building stands today is likely to be lost if the ongoing work on border fencing is allowed to be carried out without proper demarcation first.

In this connection, President of AMUCO Y. Mani Khuman told media that the ongoing border fencing work along with the boundary of Manipur and Myanmar is a one-sided effort of Myanmarese authority to take over the land of Manipur and the people of Manipur should not allowed it to go on.

Taking note of the strained relationship between Manipur and Myanmar on account of the present border fencing, AMUCO had organised a public meeting on September 3 last and memorandum submitted to the Government of Manipur and India for paying serious attention. But so far, the Governments of Manipur and India have not given any response.

Even if India and Government of Manipur have kept reassuring that an inch of Manipur’s land would be lost to Myanmar due to the ongoing border fencing work, one cannot help but to question how that is going to be possible just by looking at the fate of Haolenphai and Govajang villages. Even though Myanmarese Army have changed the border pillar no. 76 which has been there for the last many years as border pillar no. 23, the Government of India and Maynmar has remained quiet. This is questionable, Mani said.

The ongoing border fencing should be stopped at once until proper demarcation after a joint survey. Otherwise, AMUCO would be compelled to file a complaint with the International Law Court, Mani informed.

He also asserted that from the manner the Myanmarese Army have encroached upon the land of Manipur and set up their base camp and erect wooden fencing of their own, it is becoming evidently clear that the Assam Rifles personnel posted for protection of the border area have failed in their duties. So, it would be better to hand over the task to the State Police force, the AMUCO President demanded.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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