Wed, 28 Aug 2013 21:30:00 GMT | By PTI

Myanmar army intrudes into Manipur village

Troops from neighbouring country dumped construction materials in border village to set up base camp

Myanmar army intrudes into Manipur village (© Reuters)

Imphal: Myanmar troops have attempted to construct a defence post and fencing along the border in Manipur where there is no demarcation of boundary between the two countries prompting India to take up the issue.

Construction materials were dumped for erection of fencing and the camp by Myanmar close to the international boundary in Manipur's Chandel district near Moreh town recently, official sources said.

Following a request of Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, the Centre took up the issue with Myanmar which halted all construction activities.

Myanmar's move was objected by local village chiefs and district officials as they thought Manipur would lose its territory if the neighbouring country goes ahead with the construction, they said.

Myanmar had some days ago also tried to construct a base camp next to Holenphai village near Moreh but was persuaded not to do so until a joint survey by the officials of the two countries.

A senior Home Ministry official told PTI in New Delhi that all activities had taken place inside Myanmar territory and there was no incursion of Indian land. "We took up the issue with Myanmar government and it has been resolved amicably," he said.

Assam Rifles said in a communication to the Home Ministry that Myanmarese troops have not entered Indian territory.

"We have stopped the felling of trees by the Myanmarese troops on BP (Border Pillar) 76 for the construction of a platoon headquarter because this BP is not yet demarcated... but otherwise Myanmarese troops have not entered Indian territory," it said after the Myanmarese activity came to light last week.

Manipur governor Ashwini Kumar also visited Indo-Myanmar border in Chandel district on Tuesday taking stock of the situation along a 10-km stretch near Moreh, where Myanmar has tried to erect fencing, official sources said in Imphal on Wednesday.

Village chiefs and officials gave a detailed report to the governor, the sources said.

A team headed by Manipur's principal secretary home had also visited the areas on Monday to take stock of the situation and prepare a report on it.

India has asked Myanmar to set up a Joint Border Working Group (JBWG) to address the issue of demarcation of border between the two countries in the backdrop of attempt by Myanmarese Army to construct a defence post near an undemarcated border pillar.
Though the proposal to set up JBWG has been there but after the recent incident, India has reiterated the need to set up the group to resolve the issue, official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said on Wednesday.

He said this was conveyed through India's Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhyay.

"We hope to take it (the proposal) forward," the spokesperson added.

According to officials, Myanmarese army, last week, had initiated the ground work for setting up a temporary platoon base camp at Holenphai village, located 3 km south of Moreh police station close to Border Pillar number 76.

As per the understanding, there cannot be any construction within 10 metres from the boundary, they said.

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