The Communist Party of India has asked the government to immediately stop fencing along the international border in Manipur before resolving the dispute over the boundary between India and Myanmar. It said the people in Manipur would launch protests if the government fails to review its decision on border fencing without proper demarcation of the international boundary.

Manipur and Myanmar share 398 km long international border. The party has even suggested a joint survey of India and Myanmar to settle the controversy.

Speaking to reporters here, CPI general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy said the Centre is so far silent on the issue of border fencing along Manipur sector of Indo-Myanmar border which is leaving out large areas of Manipur’s territory to Myanmar.

With twin objectives of checking drug smuggling and cross border movements of insurgents, border fencing work between border pillar number 79 and 81 covering a distance of 10 kms near Moreh town in Manipur was taken up by the Department of Border Management, Ministry of Home Affairs. ``This has been a source of anger for our people,’’ Mr Reddy said.

As the government took up the border fencing work, Myanmar lodged a protest about the location of zero point. Subsequently, the government decided to construct border fencing 10 kms inside the Indian territory from the international border line, Mr Reddy said. ``Following reports about Manipur loosing large tracts of its territory on account of border fencing, a joint team of intellectuals, youth, well known social activists and media persons conducted a spot enquiry for two days,’’ he said.

The border fencing cut across Govajang village right in the middle and about 15 villages would be forced to be left out of Indian territory. It was also noticed in the enquiry that the border fence is being put up about 100 metres inwards from the natural boundary which means a big territorial loss to Manipur, Mr Reddy said.