State takes up strict vigil along Indo-Myanmar border

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, April  24, 2020: As part of Manipur government’s constant efforts to contain the spread of global pandemic Covid-19 in the state and to further strengthen and streamline the efforts to keep strict vigil along the Indo-Myanmar border on the Indian side under Singngat sub-division in Churachandpur, one company of IRB has been tasked to strengthen the concerted efforts of the district police and Asaam Rifles to close gaps by engaging them in regular patrolling activities has been deployed since Wednesday.

Intensified patrolling to stop cross-border movement of people and spreading awareness among the public residing in the Indian side of Indo-Myanmar border areas in Churachandpur district are among other measures taken up by the Churachandpur district police, in co- ordination with civil administration, Assam Rifles and other security agencies in their unwavering fight against the spread of Covid-19.

To ensure that cross-border movement of people is stopped, regular patrolling activities are conducted by personnel of Behiang PS and Singngat PS, in co-ordination with the Assam Rifles, police source said. One additional company of IRB has been deployed.

The dry river beds are hot spots for crossing over and therefore Tuivai, Samtui and Tuivel river beds are covered during such exercises.

SDPO Churachandpur, Bijoy Kumar, has also been stationed at Behiang PS to monitor and supervise all activities along the border, in coordination with the Assam Rifles.

There are also reports of some people trying to cross over from Khaukual village in Sangaikot sub-division, for which Police teams have been deployed and villagers around have been made aware. The actions are being coordinated by the district police with Assam Rifles deployed in the sub-division.

The international boundary stretches from Border Pillar (BP) 32 (Sinzawl Village) to BP 48 (T. Khuangkhai Village) is 79.5 KM long. The terrain is rugged, mountainous, and seasonal rivers like Samtui, Tuivel and Tuivai form natural borders between both countries.
With the outbreak of Covid-19 and the announcement of a National lockdown to contain it, it was imperative for district police to take all measures to stop movement from and to Myanmar.

For strict monitoring and vigilance along the border, police personnel, civil administration and doctors held frequent meetings to educate villagers on measures taken to fight Covid-19 and the importance of stopping all entry and exit from border so that they are dissuaded from extending cooperation to people wanting to cross over.

It may be recalled here that the district administration, with the help of district police and Assam Rifles, sealed motorable roads with Myanmar at three locations – border pillar (BP) no. 35/36 at Suangdai Village, BP No. 40/41 at Behiang and BP no. 39 at Suangphuh village on April 1.

Movement of people and vehicles is strictly prohibited, yet there have been two instances. All the accused were apprehended by Police and AR team and were handed over to IDSP team. They were later sent to Government Quarantine Centre, Bijang as per standard operating procedures.

It is also pertinent to mention that recently one girl crossed over from Myanmar illegally and an FIR was registered against her for crossing over and her family members for abetting. One Shaktiman truck which had crossed over to Myanmar to smuggle fuel barrels into India was also seized and three persons were arrested.

Also, on April 16, senior officers of the state government led Suhel Akhtar, additional chief secretary visited Pakmual village (BP no. 37 and BP no. 38) to effectivelystop movement of people and vehicles.

An interaction programme with village chiefs, Village authority representatives and Church Leaders was also organised at Behiang PS. Apart from educating them about the dangers of Covid- 19, modalities of effective delivery of rice under various schemes were also discussed and also their cooperation was sought to stop trans- border movement.

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