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Home Ministry rules handing over bridges to Myanmar: Manipur CM

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Imphal, Feb 24 (UNI) The Union Home Affairs Ministry has ruled out the possibility of handing over three bridges of Manipur in the border areas to neighbouring Myanmar, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh informed the House today during a calling attention motion.

The Chief Minister said during the 12th sectoral meeting of India and Myanmar at Kolkata earlier, Myanmar delegates demanded three bridges of Chandel district of Manipur in the border areas.

During the meeting the Indian delegates did not give any assurance to give the bridges, the Chief Minister informed.

The chief minister further said the bridges were used by Manipur villagers.

Mr Ibobi Singh also said if the Congress government gave any land to Myanmar he would resign as Chief Minister and from primary membership of the Congress party. ''Our motherland is more important than the position,'' he said.

He said three border pillars no 63, 77, 78 were missing in the Manipur-Myanmar border and it is for the Ministry of External Affairs to act on the matter and the ministry officials had been informed about the matter.

The chief minister was replying to a calling attention motion raised by Mr B D Behring, who said two bridges demanded by Myanmar were old bridges used by the villagers and the border pillars have been reported missing for the last 20 years.

Manipur villagers farming on Indian side of land were allegedly harassed by Myanmar officials on the ground that the land belongs to them, he added.

He demanded immediate restoration of the border pillars.

The people were dissatisfied with the handing over of Kabaw valley of Manipur to Myanmar earlier, he said.

Mr Singh said the issue of Kabaw valley was debatable and one should not make any irresponsible statements on the issue without having valid documents.

UNI NS TJP/SRC LS RK1458

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