“Boundary assessment only superficial” says committee of civil groups

MOREH, August 26: While hailing the official committee headed by Principal Secretary Home Dr Suresh Babu as its chairman under the State Government for assessing the ongoing fencing works along the Indo-Myanmar border, the Committee on Protection on Land in Border Fencing, Manipur has expressed that the committee was taken by surprise when it heard that the ongoing border fencing works along the border was not mere border fencing but security fencing.

Speaking to media persons following a meeting of the committee members with Dr J Suresh Babu, convenor Brozendro Ningomba stated that the assessment work conducted by the government constituted committee along the 10 km long border fencing and paying a visit to Haolenphai village, which is believed to be largely affected by the fencing work were commendable.

He continued that the official committee was there to assess the border fencing and not to demarcate the international boundary which is the core issue of the moment.

The official committee it seems was there only to laud the works undertaken by the Assam Rifles and Border Road Task Force and had conspicuously overlooked the damages caused by the villages due to the fencing, he said.

He said his comments followed a spot assessment conducted by various hill based organizations in collaboration with the Information Centre for Hill Areas Manipur of the fencing.

If the statement of Dr Suresh Babu that the ongoing border fencing works has been done looking after India’s security is true then whether it would also be true to say that the dissection in the middle of the villages was also done from security point of view, he argued.

Saying that the committee led by Dr Suresh Babu could have met with villagers of Govajang and Haolenphai villages to know more vital facts about the loss of large tracts of land to Myanmar instead of following instructions from Assam Rifles, he opined that if the fencing works is said to be security fencing then it should be dismantled and a new fencing erected .

For this, the Manipur, India and Myanmar governments should conduct a joint survey to kick-start the new fencing and members of the committee, persons who are experts on boundary knowledge along with representatives of villagers should also be included in the survey works, he pointed out.

The people of Manipur should be made aware of the exact point upto where the security fencing is to be erected.

Moreover, the exact traditional boundaries of India and Myanmar should be demarcated before September 26 failing which the committee in collaboration with people of the State would launch series of intense agitation, the convenor cautioned.

Abjiast Seiyaona, president of Eastern Maring Organisation Chandel stated that India and Myanmar shares a boundary line of 872 miles which is constituted by 60 percent of water and 40 percent of border pillars and if the remarks of Dr Suresh Babu that nine border pillars remains unsettled is true than the controversial land issue from Renglang village to Irawadi River must also be cleared.

Pointing out the presence of two border pillar no 87 which are not included amongst the disputed pillar numbers, he asked which one of the two would be the official one.

He further said Border Pillar No 81 and 82 were erected 1 km within the Indian Territory and these are also not included among the controversial pillars. "Even Border Pillar No 89 was also not erected in its original place ie at the right side of Taret River," he said.

Today’s meet was also attended by Thongkhongam Mate, president KSO Moreh Block; D Rouwaithang, president Rural Peoples’ Development Federation, Pallel; N Rajendro, president ICHAM and representatives of Kuki Chief Association, Moreh Block.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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