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Myanmar army men enter Manipur village

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Ask villagers to halt construction, sparking tension

Tension erupted in the border town of Moreh in Tengnoupal district of Manipur on Saturday when some Myanmarese army men entered Haolenphai village and reportedly asked the residents to halt the construction work of some houses.

Assam Rifles personnel, along with police and civil officials, rushed to the village and asked the Myanmarese army men to go back.

Villagers angry

The Manipur police team asked the villagers of Haolenphai to suspend the construction work. This triggered tension in the area and the villagers threatened to burn down all houses. A scuffle ensued between the police and the villagers in which a woman suffered injuries.

Additional Collector of Tengnoupal district M. Bankim said efforts are on to bring the situation under control.

Haolenphai village chief Lalkholun Haokip refused to follow the police order saying, "This village is in Indian territory. We will halt the construction work if the Indian government says it is not in India."

Mr. Haokip said some Myanmarese army men had come to Haolenphai some months ago and dismantled a sawmill saying it had encroached upon their land. They carted away machinery and building materials and are yet to return them.

Earlier protests

There have been protests in the past over allegations of shifting of some boundary pillars within the Indian territory. Haolenphai is located near boundary pillar 76.

The Union government had sent senior officials to make spot verifications after which Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had said there was no dispute relating to boundary pillars.

Saturday's incident affected legalised border trade at Moreh in Manipur and Namphalong in Myanmar. Most of the traders and tourists in Moreh rushed back to Imphal fearing trouble.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:59:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/myanmar-army-men-enter-manipur-village/article25588357.ece

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