Fence border with Myanmar, Manipur urges Centre

GUWAHATI: Faced with militancy, the Manipur Government has demanded fencing of the porous Indo-Myanmar border and construction of border roads to enhance security and stop cross border movements of insurgents.

editorial@tribune.com

Bijay Sankar Bora

Tribune News Service

Guwahati, July 12

Faced with militancy, the Manipur Government has demanded fencing of the porous Indo-Myanmar border and construction of border roads to enhance security and stop cross border movements of insurgents.

In a submission before the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said: “Manipur has a 352 km-long porous international border with Myanmar. Unlike India-Pakistan/Indo-Bangladesh border, there is no border road along it nor is the border fenced.

“The border remains a serious concern for internal security in terms of smuggling of arms and ammunition, smuggling of contraband narcotics substances and infiltration of militants.

“Prominent insurgent groups have taken shelter in Myanmar as their cadres can hardly afford being stationed for prolonged periods inside Manipur. However, due to porous border they manage to continue their acts of extortion and intimidation through easy cross border movements. To enable any border guarding force to discharge its duty effectively, it is absolutely essential that the border is fenced and a network of roads developed on topmost priority,” he said.

The fencing work is going on along the 10 km stretch between the border pillar (BP) 79 and BP-81. Manipur government has proposed that fencing should be constructed urgently for at least addition 50 kilometers along Indo-Myanmar border. The state government has also endorsed the proposal of Director General of Assam Rifles to the MHA for selective border fencing for approximately 86 kilometers between BP-54 and BP-78 as top priority. Ass Rifles is currently entrusted with the responsibility to guard the India-Myanmar border that touches states of Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Some of the other demands included joint operation to destroy camps inside Myanmar; procurement and installation of vehicle scanners along the NH from Imphal to Moreh (on Myanmar border) to prevent smuggling of weapons and explosives; SIMs of Indian mobile operators made non-functional in Myanmar territory; setting up of North East Regional Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) for sharing intelligence among the Northeastern states and setting up of digitised operation rooms of the MHA with state of the art equipment.

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