IMPHAL, January 31: The State BJP will apprise the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Defence Minister and the director general of Assam Rifles about the high-handedness of the 24 Assam Rifles personnel while conducting security checks which has led to the launch of an indefinite bandh on the Imphal-Moreh road against their actions affecting the passage of several people travelling on the road.
Speaking to the media at a press conference, BJP Manipur Pradesh spokesperson RK Shivachandra said the inhuman attitude of the 24 Assam Rifles personnel towards the people travelling on the South-East Asian gateway is condemnable and the State BJP extends its support to the Tengnoupal agitation.
He charged the Congress government of negligence, overlooking the extra-judicial activities carried out by the Assam Rifles in the state under AFSPA on the name of controlling anti-social elements.
He asked the government whether it was unaware of the persistent harassment given to all passengers for the last many years and why it hadn`™t taken up any action to halt such activities. The actions of the Assam Rifles can`™t be tolerated; so, the government must remove them at the earliest, he demanded, stressing that if such activities continue then it will adversely affect the whatever advantages that Manipur can gain from the various development programme taken up under the Act East policy.
The Act East policy will make the State a hub of all kinds of trade, a tourist spot etc but if such actives continues, it will make the people visiting from outside the country or state to stay away from passing through this highway, he pointed out.
Shivachandra stated that the India-Myanmar Border Trade Agreement signed on January 21, 1994 was officially implemented on April 4, 1995 to allow the traditional exchange under barter system, border trade of agreed exchangeable items, normal/regular trade.
However, Manipur and Myanmar have engaged in trade long before the inception of this agreement, he added. Many people rely on the highway for their survival, the State BJP spokesperson said, but due to the indefinite bandh launched in protest against the highhandedness and atrocities of the Assam Rifles, the trades of many people have suffered.
Such activities are not carried out by security personnel in any other Asian border roads, he said, adding the Imphal-Moreh road is now known for its anti-terrorism, anti-trade and business activities.
The Indian army and para-military forces are creating disturbances to the normal people and normal traders by making them unload their goods on the check post at Khudangthabi and make the people irrespective of whether they are sick, pregnant or old parade for half a kilometre. A similar case is faced by the people on the check post at Tengnoupal, he said.
But they allow the passage of VIPs and VVIPs which is unfortunate because if their security checks are so important then they should be equally strict with the VIPs and VVIPs, he stressed.
Shivachandra stated that there are altogether 46 battalions of the Assam Rifle deployed in the State of which 31 battalions are engaged in counter insurgency operations and 15 battalions are used in checking the borders and border-fencings.
But the 15 battalions which were deployed to check borders and border-fencings are venturing out on the road to check passenger vehicles on the highway, he alleged, adding that due to the disturbances created by the Assam Rifles and para-military forces, the trade-route for logs and other commodities that passed through the State has now been shifted to Rangoon which is a big loss for Manipur.