A claim has been made by a senior official of Manipur that a border pillar 81, which was installed in the Kwatha Khunou village in Tengnoupal Tehsil (in Chandel District of Manipur) to demarcate India-Myanmar border, has been moved inside the territory of India. However, the government has denied the claims so far.
According to a Central Government Official, the pillars were erected as markers of the borders as the original numbered pillars stood far apart from each other. The decision to build the pillars was made during a meeting between the Indian and Myanmar officials last October in Tamu, Myanmar. “The subsidiary border pillars were decided to be erected so that there is less ambiguity about the border as the original border pillars are at least 3 km from each other,” the official said.
The original border pillar 81 had been moved from its original position as a result, Manipur risked losing its land. The state is sensitive about its “territorial integrity”, which consequently led to an uproar in the state. The state and central government have been accused by the opposition parties and several civil society groups. To examine the matter “high power committee” was formed by the Chief Minister, N Biren Singh, comprising of district officials and representative of the paramilitary force Assam Rifles, and legislators.
The Indian external affairs ministry put forward a statement calling reports of a border dispute with Myanmar “baseless and unsubstantiated”. The ministry said that the sector of the international boundary is settled and that there is no confusion to its alignment.
Residents of the villages, in May, alleged that troops from Myanmar had 2 border pillars pushed inside Indian Territory. An official from the Chief Minister’s office said that for the verification of border pillar 81, a team is expected to arrive in the state on July 18.