India rules out intrusion by Myanmar in Manipur, calls Pillar 76 area un-demarcated border

Asserting that India and Myanmar have excellent and very cordial bilateral relations, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday ruled out reports of intrusion by Myanmar in Manipur.


MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said it is for the sentinels of the border to indicate what the actual situation in the border is.


"But that said, we have been just informed by the Ministry of Home Affairs which oversees the border on that part of our border that there has not been any intrusion and it's not fair to say this. My understanding is that there is an area which is un-demarcated and that is near border pillar 76. That area is un-demarcated and there has been some activity on the Myanmar side of that border. Now, there has perhaps also been an understanding that there would not be any construction very near that un-demarcated border and that is what is the issue there. So, it is not an intrusion or an incursion. It is on their side of the border," said Akbaruddin.


"But I understand that the Assam Rifles, which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs, are already in touch with the Myanmar Army on that. That said, at the diplomatic front what we have done is through our mission in Myanmar we have taken up and made a suggestion that there should be a joint border working group between India and Myanmar to resolve this issue of the un-demarcated portion of the border near border pillar 76 and we will take it further," he added.


Myanmarese soldiers reportedly crossed the border two-three days ago and started cutting trees to set up a temporary camp at Holenphai village in the border town of Moreh.


The village is next to a disputed pillar, numbered 76, along the border.


Myanmarese soldiers reportedly claimed the village was part of their territory


A high-level state committee led by Principal Secretary (Home) Dr. J Suresh Babu visited the border town of Moreh to assess the situation.


Media reports have stated that Myanmarese troops had been preparing to set up a temporary camp inside Indian land, claiming the area lay within their country.


On arriving at the border town, 110 km south of Imphal in Chandel District two days ago, committee members inspected different locations of the ongoing border fencing construction sites, including Govajang village which is said to be divided by the fence.


The Centre in consultation with the Manipur Government has started to build the border fence measuring around 10 kilometer at Moreh along the porous Indo-Myanmar border, reports the Assam Tribune daily.


According to the villagers, about 10 houses out of 25 in the village, including a church, will go to Myanmar once the fencing comes into existence.


In view of the development, the authority has stopped the ongoing construction works at Govajang.


The visiting team also visited the Holenphai village, about two kilometers away from Moreh to verify the allegations that Myanmarese troops are preparing to set up a temporary camp within the village land.


Later, Dr. Babu said a report would be submitted to the authorities for further steps to be taken.


Meanwhile, the newly floated Committee on Protection of Land in Border Fencing (CPLBF) has demanded a joint border survey along the 398 km Manipur sector of the Indo-Myanmar border involving State, Centre and Mynanmar authorities.


The CPLBF, according to the daily, has threatened to launch various forms of agitation if the authorities concerned failed to meet their demands.


Business Standard