Porous India-Myanmar border security threat: Ibobi - The Times of India
GUWAHATI: Manipur government has endorsed the Union home ministry's proposal to deploy Border Security Force (BSF) as the dedicated border guarding force along the India-Myanmar border. Speaking at the chief ministers' conference on internal security at New Delhi on Monday, Manipur's chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh said it would ensure effective surveillance along the sensitive and porous Indo-Myanmar border, which is at the core of illegal arms and drugs smuggling and trans-border movement of militants.
He also stressed on the need for taking the core issue with clear foresight and in a sustained manner. Since the Kargil War in 1999, Assam Rifles, a para-military force under the operational command of the Army, has been entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the Indo-Myanmar border. Manipur home minister Gaikhangam, chief secretary D S Poonia and state police chief Ratnakar Baral also attended the conference.
Ibobi highlighted the importance of effective surveillance along the Indo-Myanmar border and expressed his satisfaction with the home ministry's plan to construct 4,585km of roads, 113 helipads and two helibases along the border. He also called on the home ministry to accelerate border fencing works and settle disputed boundary pillars in the Manipur Sector with Myanmar at an appropriate level.
The CM told the conference that the Manipur government has successfully controlled many Kuki Tribal Militant Groups by entering into a Tripartite Agreement for the Suspension of Operations over the last three years. To carry forward the momentum, two more militant groups, UTLA and KRA, were included in the fold of the agreement on March 24, he added.
He said that although the larger valley-based militant groups had so far not responded to the state's offer for peace talks, his government signed a Tripartite Agreement with a smaller group, KCP(MC)-Lallumba faction, in August 2010 and their cadres were in the process of rehabilitation with assistance of the home ministry, the Army and Assam Rifles.
Ibobi suggested the Centre to absorb former militants in central police organisations by relaxing recruitment norms. He also urged the Centre for establishment of a fully equipped police station at Khoupum in Tamenglong district to check movement of militants. Ibobi said the state government has taken steps to implement crime and criminal tracing network and system project, which would cover 101 police stations and 153 higher offices.
Ibobi urged the home ministry to sanction four Indian Reserved Battalions for protection of the 1,500MW Tipaimukh hydro-power project and the Loktak Downstream Hydro Electricity Project. He also called on the government to assist the state in obtaining assistance from Japan International Co-operation Agency for the Project of Augmentation of Water for Imphal with raw water from Thoubal Multi Purpose Project.