Imphal, June 02 2022: The United Committee Manipur (UCM) has warned of mass agitation if the agreement they reached with the Chief Minister and the Minister of State for External Affairs is not translated into action by June 20 .
Speaking to media persons this afternoon, UCM president Joychandra Konthoujam said that the UCM is always committed to protect the boundary of Manipur and its integrity.
He said that a team of UCM went to the Indo-Myanmar border on August 26 and 27 last year and asked the Border Roads Task Force (BRTF) to leave out the space between BP 80 and BP 81 from the border fencing work.
When UCM talked about the matter with Chief Minister N Biren, the Chief Minister assured that the disputed area from BP 80 to BP 81 would be left out of the border fencing work.
Later, on September 20 last year, the UCM held another meeting with Minister of State for External Affairs RK Ranjan.
He also assured that the border pillars would be verified.
But the border pillars have not been verified till date.
In the meantime, it has been learnt that border fence has been constructed secretively between BP 80 and BP 81 along an alignment 1 Km inside the territory of Manipur from the international boundary, the UCM president said.
The failure of the Chief Minister and the Minister of State for External Affairs to keep their words has disappointed all the people and it has evoked a serious question whether they are awaiting mass agitation, Joychandra said.
“If the Chief Minister and the Minister of State for External Affairs are determined not to act without mass agitation, we are ready for mass agitation”, he said.
“This is our final appeal.
If the Chief Minister and the Minister of State for External Affairs do not act on their words regarding the border fencing work by June 20, UCM would be constrained to launch different modes of agitation”, he said.
Saying that most of the people settled in border areas are quite humble and very small in number, the UCM president asked all concerned not to harass or intimidate them.
Many of the labourers working under BRTF are villagers of T Bongyang but even their paddy fields are left beyond the border fence, he said.
A team of the Surveyor General of India inspected the site of BP 81 in July 2018 and they went back after knowing that the site was contested, Joychandra said.
However, it is a matter of grave concern that nothing has been done till date to resolve the dispute surrounding BP 81 .
Sacrificing Manipur’s territory just to sustain friendly relationship with Myanmar and facilitate India’s Act East Policy is simply unacceptable, he asserted.
The Manipur section of Indo-Myanmar border should be demarcated based on traditional boundaries as per the Rangoon Agreement of March 10, 1967, he said.
Indian authorities must not make haste on the border fencing work, the UCM president appealed.
He then asked whether the map of India would be altered if Manipur loses parts of its territory to Myanmar on account of border fencing.