New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Indian authorities on Thursday asked a Naga delegation to accompany officials in identifying the areas of ongoing fencing construction along the India-Myanmar border -- which may cut off 3,500 acres of arable land in local Naga villages.
The proposal came after a delegation of the Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) and village council members met officials of the Union Home and Defence Ministries in connection with the construction of fencing by the Myanmar government.
The Khiamniungan Naga tribe -- numbering over 3,000 and expected to be most affected if the fencing construction does not stop -- has said that the cultivable land is their prime source of livelihood. The fencing is being constructed from border pillar No.139 to 146 in Pangsa village of Nagaland's Tuensang district.
"During the meeting, the government has proposed to visit the Naga villages located at the Indo-Myanmar borders and identify the spots where the fencing construction is going on. The land owners and some of the members from village councils will accompany the officials," Sashee Naga, Vice President of ENPO, told IANS.
However, the dates for the visit by the government officials have not been decided yet.
Earlier, speaking to IANS, Pradeep Gupta, Joint Secretary (Border Management) in the Union Home Ministry, said India was not involved in the construction of the fence.
"Ministry of Home Affairs has not proposed any fence on the Indo-Myanmar border. On this issue, the MEA has been apprised as it is their subject. We have told our people that there will be no construction in our zone and Assam Rifles will ensure that," Gupta added.