Rajnath visits Myanmar border, reviews Manipur situation

Imphal/Agartala, Feb 13: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his deputy Kiren Rijiju on Friday visited India-Myanmar border in Manipur and discussed border trade with the officials.

"Rajnath Singh along with Kiren Rijiju (minister of state for home affairs) and home ministry officials visited Moreh along the India-Myanmar border," a Manipur government official said.


"They supervised the under construction integrated check post(ICP) to boost the trade between India and Myanmar."

Singh asked the officials to step up construction work of ICP, which would facilitate all basic facilities, including banks, medical, immigration, customs and warehouse.

"The home minister at a meeting with senior officials discussed about the possible increase of border trade between the two countries after completion of the work of ICP," the official added.

The home minister also met public leaders in the border town of Moreh, 170 km from Imphal, and interacted with them about their problems.

Manipur shares 398-km unfenced border with Myanmar.

Later, Singh reviewed the law and order situation in the militancy ravaged northeastern state. State Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, top officials of police, army and paramilitary forces were present at the meeting.

The home minister's visit holds special significance since there have been violent incidents and bomb blasts recently in different parts of Manipur, including Imphal, claiming many lives.

From Imphal, the home minister will visit Tripura Saturday and some Border Security Force posts along Bangladesh.

"He will then meet (Tripura Chief Minister) Manik Sarkar and (Mizoram Chief Minister) Lal Thanhawla in Agartala to chalk out a plan to repatriate the tribal refugees to Mizoram," a Tripura government official said.

Singh may also visit the refugee camps in Kanchanpur in northern Tripura to persuade the refugees to go back to their villages in western Mizoram.

About 32,000 Reang tribals, locally called "Bru", are staying in seven camps in northern Tripura since October 1997 after fleeing their villages in western Mizoram following ethnic troubles after the killing of a Mizo forest official.

Union Home Ministry's Joint Secretary Shambhu Singh Jan 30 held a meeting in New Delhi with Tripura and Mizoram officials and discussed the repatriation of Mizoram's tribal refugees.

Tripura government has been asking both Mizoram and the union home ministry to repatriate the tribal refugees to their homes in Mizoram.

"Serious socio-economic and environmental problems have cropped up due to the long stay of the refugees in Tripura," the official added.


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