GUWAHATI: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday dismissed the charge of opposition Congress that India had given away its land to Myanmar to “appease” the neighbouring country.
Singh told The New Indian Express that a dispute had arisen over a border pillar in Manipur’s newly-created Tengnoupal district. The porous international border is demarcated by “border pillars” – at some places by trees that are in existence for years.
“The area was surveyed by Myanmar and Indian teams. Both had agreed. But some locals raised disputes over one pillar. The border hasn’t been finalised yet. Investigation is on,” Singh said.
The border pillar at Kwatha Khunou, erected on June 22, is in the centre of the controversy. Following an inspection recently, Tengnoupal Deputy Commissioner (District Magistrate) Tombikanta claimed that it stood at least three kilometres inside Indian territories.
The Congress slammed the BJP, both in the state and at the Centre, for allegedly giving away the land of Manipur to Myanmar.
“On Friday, a Congress team visited the site and found the border pillar shifted inside Indian territories by Myanmarese authorities. That Manipur’s land has been given away to Myanmar was evident when (MoS Home) Kiren Rijiju admitted that there is no border dispute between India and Myanmar. So, on ground has the BJP government parted with the land of Manipur?” Pradesh Congress Committee chief Khumukcham Joykishan asked.
Rijiju was in Manipur on a two-day visit to review the security situation. Joykishan, who was among six Congress MLAs to inspect the site, said the villagers knew which portions of the border belonged to Myanmar and which to India. He threatened that the Congress would soon go on warpath along with the people in the event of failure by the state and Central governments to clarify the “incursion” by Myanmar.
India shares a 1643-km long border with Myanmar in four north-eastern states such as Arunachal (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km).