GUWAHATI: An influential Naga organisation from Manipur has petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in the alleged encroachment of land, belonging to Naga villagers, by Myanmar.
In a representation, the United Naga Council (UNC), which is Manipur’s apex social organisation of the tribal Nagas, alleged that Myanmar Army personnel were unilaterally removing “traditional border pillars” and erecting new boundary pillars deep inside Indian territory near Manipur’s border town of Moreh.
Following the “unwanted activities” of the military of the neighbouring country, a UNC delegation visited two Naga villages– N Satang and Choktong Maring– at the site recently.
“At one place in N Satang village in Tengnoupal Block of Chandel district, a weathered stump, inscribed in Myanmarese script as well as Roman, marked the border for decades. With the passage of time as it was slowly getting destroyed, we had erected a concrete border pillar by its side. However, the Myanmar Army personnel came to the site on May 1 and removed the structure. They also intruded deep inside Naga areas and ordered the villagers of N Satang to remove the village gate or be ready to face any eventualities,” UNC leader Milan Shimray told The New Indian Express.
He said the India-Myanmar border in Naga areas was demarcated by the two countries without consulting the Nagas. As a result, a number of Naga villages became parts of Myanmar.
Giving a historical perspective, Shimray said: “We have been sharing a traditional boundary with Myanmar since time immemorial. This boundary has been recognised by the people of Myanmar. In the light of this, the latest act of the Myanmar Army was not in the spirit of that traditional understanding”.
He added: “Much of our land is being encroached upon by Myanmar authorities. We demand that both India and Myanmar sit together with the Nagas and resolve the dispute. We demand that the entire boundary is reviewed”.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh told The New Indian Express: “The state government is sending a team of officials to the site (of alleged intrusion by Myanmar Army) to take stock of the situation”.