Imphal, July 12,
Chie Minister N. Biren Singh today clarifies regarding the issues over alleged shifting of Indo Myanmar Border Pillar No. 81.
Talking to media persons at the Chief Minister conference Hall today morning, N. Biren Singh said that his government is committed for the protection of the territorial boundary of the state however, being a responsible government can’t act on hearsay by someone so the state government constituted a high level committee headed by Revenue Minister Karam Shyam to look into the matter.
While stating that the Border Pillar No. 81 has been settled in 1969-70 survey the Chief Minister appealed all concern not to take political mileage of the sensitive issue. The Chief Minister however was reluctant to answer about what action should be initiated to the DC of Tengnoupal district as he himself was the one who hatch the controversy over the reinstating of Border Pillar No. 81 saying that it was found shifted 3 Km inside the Indian Territory.
Stating that Border Pillar issue is not a new issue the Chief Minister said that on December 12, 2013 an all political party meeting was held along with the officials of the Survey of India and BRTF at CM Secretariat to discuss the boundary issue. The state government had requested the Government of India to conduct re-survey of Main Boundary pillars from 71 to 81 in a letter dated 11/11/2014.
He said that following that in a meeting convened by the DC Chandel at Moreh Town on March 3 , 2016, the Villagers of Kwatha Khunou were informed that they could write to the MEA regarding their claims over the general area of main BP 81 for shifting of the boundary pillar. The survey of India on their part said that it was not possible on their part to shift the main BP 81.
In response to the State government letter the Ministry of External Affairs gave a reply on June 7, 2017 citing the MEA position . The letter said that in accordance to the Boundary Agreement signed between India and Myanmar in 1967 Main Boundary Pillar 79 to 81 are settled and the proposal of the state government to conduct re-survey is in violation of the terms and conditions stated under the agreement of 1967. MHA also informed that as main BP bearing No. 79,80 and 81 are not disputed, joint re-survey is not advisable as it will result in making settled BP’s 79 to 81 unsettled.
Moreover the Kwatha Khunou was started settling only in 2011 he added and was supplemented by official of the Remote Sensing authority showing documents.
The Chief Minister further stated that On 5th March, 2018, Gol wrote to the Chief Secretary, Government informing that a Survey of India team would be reaching Moreh on 12.03.2018 for the joint survey work of the two countries (India and Myanmar) for survey and construction of Subsidiary Pillars between main BP 80 TO 82.
The letter requested the State Govt to extend all necessary support to the team in terms of logistics like detailing Magistrate, providing security in consultation with Assam Rifles etc.
During the joint survey period commencing from 12th March, 2018 upto 12th June 2018, no written or verbal complaint about the position of main BP 81 was lodged with either the survey tram or authorities concerned.
DC and SP Tengnoupal visited Kwatha on 1st December 2017 to inform villagers about the survey of subsidiary pillars.
On 26.06.2018, a local newspaper published a report under the headline ‘India giving away land to Myanmar’. Immediately, on 27.06.2018 the State Govt wrote to Gol and requested it to issue an advisory to the joint survey team to put on hold survey work till the issue is resolved.
On 08.07.2018, Ministry of External Affairs issued a press note refuting media reports that certain boundary pillars in the Manipur Sector of the International boundary have been shifted.
It said, the report is completely baseless and unsubstantiated as this sector of the International boundary is settled.
That, the recent survey work has been carried out jointly by the Indian an Myanmar survey department to construct Subsidiary Pillars along zero line, that is agreed and settled International boundary.
The MEA statement further categorically stated that the joint survey work conducted is in consonance with the provisions of India Myanmar Boundary Agreement of 1967 to which both Governments are fully committed.
The State Govt also received a letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 29.06.2018 which stated that, this segment of the Boundary has been along settled and there is no ambiguity about the alignment of the boundary.
The only work that was being undertaken, as the State Government of Manipur is aware, is on joint survey for putting up subsidiary pillars and identifying encroachments if any.
The letter further asked the State Govt to inform the GOI, if it would like to conduct verification or visit the site, so that the concerned GOI officials could be sent to Manipur for the same.
Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar, Works Minister Th. Bishwajit, Horticulture Minister Th. Shyamkumar, Revenue Minister K Shyam , Education Minister Th Radheshyam, Water Resource Minister Letpao haokip among others and officials of the concern government departments were also attended during the press meet.
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. He also looks after the website and application of Imphal Times. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.