Manipur : Central team inspects disputed border pillar along Indo -Myanmar border

By M.Devanand Sharma

Moreh ( India Myanmar Border ), July 25 :Surveyor General of India Lt Gen Girish Kumar today refuted allegations that a border pillar on the Myanmar border near a Manipur village was shifted inside the state.

Several social organisations and locals had alleged that pillar number 81 near Kwatha Khunou village in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district was shifted 3 km inside the state.

“After inspecting the site, and as per available records and documents, there is no alleged shifting of the border pillar number 81. There is no change at all,” Kumar told reporters here.

Since it happens to be the international border, one cannot simply claim such a thing based on the assumptions of the naked eye, he said, adding, it requires a lot of documents.

A three-member Central team comprising Joint Secretary (Border Management) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, J A V Dharma Reddy and Joint Secretary (Bangladesh and Myanmar) Ministry of External Affairs, Sripriya Rangnathan, along with Kumar, today surveyed the border pillar.

“Nonetheless, we have taken into account the villagers’ complains and assured them that a report on it will be submitted to the Centre,” Kumar said.

Tengnoupal Deputy Commissioner Tombikanta, after visiting the border area last month, claimed that pillar 81 had been shifted 3 km inside the Indian territory. His claim found favour with local people, several social bodies as well as political parties.

Taking note of the issue, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement on July 8 claiming that they were “baseless and unsubstantiated” claims.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had on July 12 said the the India-Myanmar international boundary remained “untouched and unaffected”.

On the other hand, MPCC spokesperson, Hareshore Goswami denied with the officials’ statement saying that the border pillar is still questionable and pointed out some comparisons on the territorial map as well. The villagers also urged the officials to inspect the original place of the pillar.

“ What they said today at the spot in Kwatha versus their official statement, once they got back to New Delhi, are different . Perhaps , they will do the same with framework agreement too. They will lie that Manipur’s integrity will be untouched, and then will do exactly the opposite. We have traitors and corrupted officials among us who conspire with New Delhi”.said Erendro Leichombam PRAJA Convenor.

The surveyor General of India Major General Girish Kumar appealed to the people of Manipur to wait till the report of the current survey is submitted to the concerned authorities.

He assured that he would come again for a final settlement within a months time .

Additional inputs: PTI


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