Imphal: Manipur government has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs requesting for suspension of the ongoing border fencing work along the Manipur sector of the Indo-Myanmar border.
Special secretary (Home) H Gyan Prakash wrote the request letter to the Union Home secretary in the backdrop of protests against the fencing work at the disputed border areas under the aegis of the United Committee Manipur (UCM).
The UCM alleged that fence is being erected leaving a large chunk of Manipur’s lands on Myanmar side. The UCM demanded rectification of the demarcation first before the fencing work is carried out.
The Border Road Organization (BRO) is currently engaging in the border fencing work along the Manipur sector of the Indo-Myanmar border from BP 79 to BP 81 covering a distance of 10 km from Moreh to Kwatha in Tengnoupal district.
In the letter to the Union Home ministry, the state government informed that the UCM is vehemently opposing the construction of the border fence on the allegation that some of the border pillars especially BP 81 and 82 have been shifted by a large distance on the Indian side from the actual international border. It further informed that the UCM gathered in large numbers in a market area on June 22, 2022 and the state police had to resort to firing of teargas shells to disperse the crowd.
The UCM has also announced to continue the agitation further in the coming days in various parts of the state and has even threatened to recruit suicidal teams in the process, it added.
The law and order situation of the state may worsen in the coming days due to opposition against the ongoing border fencing work by BRO, the letter informed while requesting the Union Home ministry to consider directing the BRO to suspend the border fencing work where the position of border pillar is disputed especially BP 81 and 82 until the dispute is resolved through dialogue.
In the letter, the state government also requested the Union Home ministry to depute a team of the ministry and Survey of India for holding a thorough discussion regarding the position of the disputed BPS.
The border fencing in other undisputed areas may be allowed to continue, the letter informed.
Meanwhile, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh today said that the concerned Union ministry has been requested to halt the fencing work at the disputed areas of the Indo-Myanmar border.
Talking on the sideline of a government function today, Biren Singh said the Union Home secretary has agreed to suspend the fencing work at the disputed area with immediate effect.
Biren also stated that the Union Home secretary agreed to give a written assurance to suspend the fencing work through the state chief secretary.
The chief minister, however, stressed the need for erecting the fencing along the international border to check cross border movement of illegal goods, particularly smuggling of illegal drugs into the state and smuggling of urea fertilizers to Myanmar.