TODAY -

Subsidiary border pillar cross-marked by UCM painted white by Myanmar now
Kwatha Khunou will go to Myanmar, predict apprehensive villagers

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 29 2018: Kwatha Khunou will become a part of Myanmarese territory when border fence is constructed 100 metres from BP no 81 towards India, said some villagers of Kwatha Khunou with deep concern.

Meanwhile, a subsidiary border pillar installed at Kwatha Khunou which was cross-marked by UCM on June 27 has been painted white by Myanmar authority today.

The main border pillar however was left untouched.

Taking serious note of the border row, a team of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) today went to Kwatha Khunou.

Reporters who went together with the MPCC team saw a subsidiary border pillar of Myanmar at Namjillok which is located 100 metres from the controversial BP No 81 within India.

According to the local villagers, the subsidiary border pillar was installed about four months back.

Just beside the subsidiary border pillar, there is a Mayokpha tree which is considered sacred and worshipped by the Meiteis of Kwatha Khunou.

A concrete base was constructed around the foot of the sacred tree but Myanmar authority painted the concrete base with Myanmar flag and embossed the word Myanmar in Myanmarese words.

These Myanmarese flag and words and the subsidiary border pillar were cross-marked by the UCM team.

But Myanmar officials guarded by military personnel were seen painting them white today.

Some villagers of Kwatha Khunou told the reporters that half of Molphei village inhabited by Kuki community which was within the territory of India had fallen inside Myanmar after installation of a subsidiary border pillar just beside the Mayokpha tree.

They also expressed deep concern that almost the entire Kwatha Khunou village will become a part of Myanmar if border fence is constructed 100 metres away from BP no 81 within India.

The MPCC team which visited Kwatha Khunou included MPCC spokesman MLA Kh Joykisan, MLA D Korungthang, MLA Jamthong Haokip, MLA O Henry, MLA O Surjakumar and MLA DD Thaisii.

Joykisan said that they had seen media reports about Tengnoupal DC Tombikanta's refusal to sign on a document related to installation of BP no 81 on the ground that the spot where it is installed is not on the border but very much within the territory of India.

"We can feel the villagers' sentiments wounded by the installation, of border pillar within the territory of Manipur.

Apart from BP no 81, BP nos 82 and 83 have also been found installed 1 to 2 Km(s) inside Manipur", Joykisan said.

Even if Myanmar and India had reached a consensus on the installation of these border pillars, Congress will fight back this bilateral initiative as it deeply hurts the sentiments of the people of Manipur, said the Congress spokesman.

People's collective stand not to compromise the State's boundary in the process of settling the Naga issue is an internal issue of India.

But the loss of State's territory to Myanmar due to installation of border pillars is a much bigger issue and it is an international issue, he pointed out.

It is a matter of grave concern that the BJP Government has been paying no attention at all when any territorial issue breaks out in Manipur even though they take it as a big National issue if such territorial issue breaks out in Kashmir.

Not long after Indian independence, the Government of India gifted Manipur's Kabow Valley to Myanmar and the people of Manipur have never stopped resenting this fait accompli.

It appears that only Manipur is made the sacrificial lamb in the Government of India's efforts to forge closer ties with neighbouring Myanmar, he remarked.

Joykisan said that the issue would be raised to AICC and Central leaders concerned.

Moreover, Congress party would soon launch an intensive agitation together with the people of the State.

Despite such critical issues, the State Government has been planning to restrict the monsoon session of the State Assembly to only two days.

It is a clear indication of the BJP-led Government running away from its guilt, he continued.

There are so many critical issues about border, flood, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Framework Agreement etc which cannot be discussed on a single day.

As such, MPCC would urge the authority concerned to schedule a longer session of the State Assembly.

Kwatha Khunou village secretary Kshetrimayum Iboyaima told media persons that BP no 81 was installed by BSF beyond the river flowing at Namjillok in 1960.The existing BP no 81 was erected jointly by Assam Rifles and Myanmar army after the spot was approved by the Surveyor General of India and Settlement officials of Myanmar.

People of Kwatha made a strong argument against the selected spot and when the officials (of both Myanmar and India) were asked if they know the spot where BP no 81 should be erected, they replied in negative.

With the border pillars installed anew inside the territory of Manipur, as many as 12 villages have been affected, Iboyaima said.

He went on to say that they would fight tooth and nail any attempt to distort the boundary of Manipur drawn by Manipuri forefathers with their own blood.

Kondong village chief Kanthung too said that a large portion of Manipur's territory have been left to Myanmarese side by the border pillars installed anew.

"But we can do very little as the border pillars have been Installed after an agreement between the Governments of India and Myanmar", he said.


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