TODAY -

Action, Not Words - People of border areas are doing it
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: October 12, 2009 -



The entire people of Manipur and the state government owe fellow Manipuris living in the border areas of the state,especially in Senapati and Ukhrul districts bordering Nagaland, a great deal for courageously and tenaciously resisting any attempt by people and authority of Nagaland to breach the border between the two neighbouring states and encroach on Manipur's land.

In fact, our tribal brethren who live in the remote border areas are taking the role of sentinels by guarding the state's border in the absence of state security force. If it wasn't for the love of their ancestral land that belongs to Manipur and also the territorial integrity of the state, encroachers from Nagaland would have come in hordes to Manipur and occupied vast areas of the state's land.

Instances of people from Nagaland, backed by the Nagaland Police, making attempts to encroach on and occupy land in Senapati district of Manipur, and our sensible and valiant tribal brethren living in the border areas trying to resist and protect land of Manipur using all their strength had been witnessed in the past.

Thus because of the steadfast resistance by our brothers and sisters in the border areas of Senapati and Ukhrul districts, all desires of the Nagas of Nagaland to intrude on Manipur's territory had remained dashed. We, the people of Manipur, are truly grateful to our brethren living in the border areas of the two districts.

Similarly, it would be in the best interest of all communities living together in Manipur if our brethren living in the India-Myanmar border areas in Chandel and Churachandpur districts remain alert and put up strong resistance to the intermittent and low-key influx of people of certain tribe from Myanmar into Manipur.

May be because of the unfavourable situation prevailing in Myanmar under the military junta, or may be because of the favourable social and political conditions prevailing in Manipur, and perhaps because there are many friends and relatives settled comfortably in the hill areas in Manipur, specially in Chandel and Churachandpur districts, a great number of people from Myanmar are slowly and stealthily entering Manipur with the intention of settling down in the state.

The slow but endless arrival of these people from Myanmar in Manipur is bound to tilt the demographic balance and create a lot of social and political problems in future.

Even at present, there are armed militant groups operating in Manipur, which were first formed on the soil of Myanmar for their own cause in that country. Therefore, it's imperative that this slow and intermittent influx of the people of certain tribes, who are in fact Myanmarese nationals, from Myanmar into Manipur, India is stopped by the state and Central authorities.

Meanwhile, it's easy to pronounce, sitting in the air-conditioned comfortable office room, that even a needle-point of land would never be given to Nagaland, and that no encroacher on Manipur's territory would be allowed. But then, the Chief Minister of Manipur and his Council of Ministers and all the government officials concerned must not fail to notice the fact that Nagaland has already encroached on Manipur's territory at Jessami and Tungjoy areas.

At Jessami, Nagaland Armed Police has already kept one outpost, and people from Nagaland are cultivating agricultural crops in Manipur's land. Besides, the Nagaland authority has constructed three rest houses on Manipur's land at Jessami.

Photographs of these rest houses have been published in the newspapers recently. It's astonishing, how Chief Minister O Ibobi said at a press conference recently that there is no rest house of Nagaland at Jessami. The state government can't afford to remain satisfied with what the Chief Secretary of Nagaland had said about the occupation of a BSF barrack on Manipur side of the border by Nagaland Police calling it a so-called "temporary arrangement" and that "the traditional land-holding of the Naga tribes does not coincide with the official inter-state boundary."

What the Chief Secretary of Nagaland meant to say is that Manipur government should not object to what Nagaland is doing on Manipur's land. The state government needs to take up the matter earnestly with Nagaland government and the Centre. Words alone cannot protect the state's border.

Border should be protected by armed security force. The state government needs to work out a concrete action-plan to protect the border and stop encroachers.





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