Manipur Governor Ashwani Kumar will visit Moreh on Tuesday by a helicopter to make an on the spot assessment of the controversies arising out of the reports that Myanmar Army is trying to usurp Manipur's territory. This is in the backdrop of the concern expressed by the Union Government following news reports on the land-grabbing attempts by the Myanmar Army and the stand off between officials of the two countries. The Governor is expected to send a report soon after his return to Imphal the same day.
Meanwhile an official team visited the affected areas at Moreh on Monday. The team was led by Suresh Babu, the Principal Secretary (Home). Soon after his return to Imphal Mr. Babu submitted a report to the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, who is facing attacks from many sides for his alleged inaction in this regard. Mr. Singh discussed the issue with senior ministers and it is likely that he will convene a Cabinet meeting by Tuesday morning before sending a report to the Union Government.
Other members of the team were Brig. Ranjit Mangkotia of 26 Assam Rifles, Chandel district Collector Chittaranjan, Addtional Collector Robert Khetrimayum and other police and security force officials. The team visited two tribal villages including Hollenphai, where the Indian and Myanmarese officials had a heated exchange recently. Reports said that the Myanmar Army is planning to construct an Army base camp in the tribal village Hollenphai which has been in Manipur for generations. The Myanmar Army maintains that as per maps maintained by the British the village is well within Myanmar. The village is just 3 km away from the Moreh police station.
The team also visited the second largest temple in north-eastern India located at Prem Nagar in Moreh. It was constructed by the Tamil businessmen through Tamil Sangam Moreh. It is hardly 100 metres from the Moreh police station. According to the calculation of the Myanmar Army the compound and temple are within their country.
However, the Myanmar Army is claiming the village only now. Government sources said that some boundary pillars were mysteriously missing, only to reappear later deep inside India's territory. Political parties and several NGOs have demanded suspension of the erection works of the border fence. It is established that if the fence is to be erected at the disputed land at least 14 villages in Manipur will be affected. In case of Choro village in Ukhrul district this entire village will go to Myanmar. Tribal villages will be bifurcated and located beyond the border fence and family members and relatives will be in two different countries. Political parties and activists say that soon after independence India gifted away Kavo valley which is much larger than Manipur to Myanmar.