Five Manipuri soldiers were among those martyred Indian army who gave up their life fighting to protect the Indian Territory when Pakiskan army intruded the Indian territory in the year 1999 at Kargil. Captain Keishing Clifford Nongrum, MVC from Shillong who happened to be a cousin of my friend also martyred fighting a fierce battle to protect Indian Territory.
Among the five Manipuri soldier Sepoy K Ashuli Mao of the Naga Regiment, was posthumously awarded the Vir Chakra. The other four soldiers were Sepoy Chara Nicholas, Naik Kaleshwor, Ng Beningvir Moyon and Sepoy LNk S Germinthang.
The last two soldier were from a village in Sajik Tampak along the Indo Myanmar border .
Now the irony is that Myanmar troop had cross towards Indian Territory by 3 km and reinstated a border pillar claiming it as their land. This was flatly denied by not only the villagers along the Indo Myanmar border but the District Administration had officially announced that the Border Pillar No. 81 was reinstated 3 km inside the territory of India.
It was amidst the time that BJP National President Amit Shah visited the state for preparation of the upcoming 2019 parliamentary election. The National President of the political Party who is leading the government at both the center and the state didn’t give a single comment over the encroachers by Myanmar troopers and installation of border pillar inside Manipur’s territory. What angered the people was the statement of Union MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju at which most daily newspapers published in the state quoted him as saying that there is no border dispute between the Govt. of India and Myanmar. This was however reported in a different way in an English newspaper quoting him saying that there will be zero tolerance to any occupation to the Indian Territory, the following day.
Well and good but even if assuming the earlier news report as misquoted it is a matter of serious concern for the people of the state as no official statement regarding the issue at which even the district administration had stated that the Myanmar troop had intruded the Indian territory have been issued. The location is somewhere near a village called Kwatha in Tebgnoupal district in Indo-Myanmar border.
Former member of the Manipur Human Rights Commission Yambem Laba along with his team too had taken stock of the situation. A video uploaded through social media drew the attention of the general public as the Border Pillar reinstated by the Myanmar troops was seen protected by Assam Riffle troopers of India.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh who was once an active vocal against intrusion of the Myanmar troopers to Indian territory and who had spare no pains in rendering service for the protection of the territorial boundary of the state is also quiet this time for reason best known to the government .
Now thing that surprises the nation is the silence of the mainstream national media over the intrusion by neighbouring country to Indian territory. When Chinese troops intruded the Indian Territory at Arunachal Pradesh at the McMohan line in Upper Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh on December last year, it took no times for the Indian army to rushed the site and took up all precautionary measures to challenge the Chinese troopers. . But when Myanmar troopers cross over the Indian boundary and harassed (there are report of villagers being harrass ) the Indian people at the border not a single voice is being heard from any of the leaders of the country. Remember two among the martyred soldiers in Kargil war were from this area of India where the Myanmarese are slowly intruding.
Well is this silence from the part of the central government as well as political party’s leader a sign to show that India don’t care about the state called Manipur which was merged to the Indian Union in the year 1949. If that is so the government of India should make an announcement so that the Manipuri can take up its own course action to protect its boundary.
Since time immemorial Manipuri have been protecting its land from the hand of any intruders. In 1826 Manipuri has been protecting the erstwhile nation state fighting the Awas now Myanmarese. Many of our forefathers had sacrificed their life fighting the British knowing that they will defeat to protect the country in 1891. The essence of patriotism of our forefather still runs to the veins of many sons of this soil and Manipuri will fight at its own if the government of India sincerely tells the people that the Indian nation does not include Manipur.
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. A avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.