India-Myanmar border untouched: Manipur CM

July 13, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 04:55 am IST - Imphal

Rejects claim that a pillar has been shifted 3 km inside Indian territory

N. Biren Singh

N. Biren Singh

Amid tension brewing in the State over alleged shifting of a border pillar in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Thursday said the India-Myanmar international boundary has remained “untouched and unaffected” since its construction in 1970.

At a press meet in the morning, the CM said the border, separating India from Myanmar, was constructed based on an agreement signed between the two countries in 1967.

“The government, in view of public apprehension, has written to the Centre to conduct a field visit on July 18 to check if pillar no. 81 at Kwatha Khunou in Tengnoupal district stands at the ‘actual spot’ as per the 1967 agreement in order to convince the stakeholders,” he said.

Last month, Tengnoupal Deputy Commissioner Tombikanta, after visiting the border area, claimed that pillar 81 had been shifted 3 km inside the Indian territory. His claim found favour with local people, several social bodies as well as political parties.

The Manipur Congress asked the Centre and the State government on Sunday to clarify their stance on the issue.

Central clarification

The Ministry of External Affairs, taking note of the allegations, had issued a press release on July 8, claiming that the allegation was “baseless and unsubstantiated”.

During a recent visit to the site, Manipur Revenue Minister Karam Shyam also said some sections of “political rivals” were portraying a wrong picture.

The Chief Minister, during the press meet, said he would lead a delegation to the national capital on Friday to discuss the matter with the Central government authorities.

“The State government formed a high-level committee on June 25 to investigate into the allegations raised by the locals of Kwatha Khunou. It found out that the claims made by them were untrue,” he said.

Mr. Tombikanta had raised the matter on June 22 following a Central government survey, earlier this year, to weigh the possibilities of constructing subsidiary columns between border pillars 80 and 82.

He had claimed that the Central officials had instructed him to sign documents related with the border pillars, but he refused to abide by their orders.

Asserting that border disputes exist in almost every State, the Chief Minister said the issue was being “blown out of proportion” to target the BJP government. “Any matter regarding the territory is a sensitive issue in the tiny State and no parties aim to gain political mileage out of it,” he added.

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