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Aug 28, 2013 at 07:14pm IST

Myanmar intrudes into Indian territory, sets up camp in Manipur

Imphal: The Myanmar Army crossed into the Indian border and set up camps at Haolenphai in Manipur on August 22.

Manipur government has taken a serious review of the Myanmar Army's preparation to construct a temporary army camp at Haolenphai village. A high level committee has been sent to investigate the matter. The camp is located at 3 kms from the police station at the border town of Moreh.

"There are nine boundary pillars which are still not settled between India and Myanmar. So government of India, state govt have been requesting Ministry of External Affairs to take up the matter with the Burmese authorities to do a joint survey so that these nine pillars are also settled. As far as the settlement of the boundary dispute is concerned we can only express our views...ultimately it has to be done by the governments of both the countries..so we alone cannot make a settlement," said Suresh Babu, Principal Secretary (Home).

Manipur governor Ashwini Kumar has visited the border in Chandel district where he met village chiefs and district officials and discussed about possible loss of territory of Manipur if Myanmar went ahead with construction of the fencing at Moreh and nearby villages. Village chiefs and officials gave a detailed report to the governor who assured them that he would take up the issue with the state and central governments, the sources said.

Currently, India and Myanmar share a soft border. It is possible to cross over to Myanmar by foot from the Moreh post. The incident also featured in the Lok Sabha when Manipur MP Thompchong Mena brought it into focus and claimed it was intrusion of sorts which happened near pillar number 76 in the Chandel district.

The state government is in contact with New Delhi regarding the development. Attempts by Indian officials to defuse the crisis have so far been unsuccessful.

At least 30 militant outfits from India have moved their camps to Myanmar and they have also used soft boundary to their advantage. The matter is being looked into by the Indian intelligence.

Large number of political parties in Manipur have opposed fencing of the border by the Myanmar Army as they fear a large chunk of land will be lost to Myanmar.

(with additional inputs from PTI)