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Burmese market torched, border seal

Six killed in raid by gunmen at Moreh 
Burmese market torched, border sealed, situation tense
Imphal Free Press (October 13, 1997)

By A Reporter

IMPHAL, Oct. 12: The Myanmarese market complex at Nanphalong on the
Indo-Myanmar border was burnt down and six persons including four
security personnel were gunned down in a raid carried out by unknown
gunmen late last night, unofficial sources said.

Following the incident the international border has been sealed and
Burmese authorities have made massive security deployment at the area.
The border gates have also been closed.

Report from across the border said armed persons set ablaze the newly
opened market complex of Myanmar at about 11:30 PM and six Burmese
personnel were shot dead.

However, sources at Moreh said three Burmese immigration official were
killed in the incident. No official report of exact number of casualty
was available.

The market complex is located just across the gate Number 2 of the
international border at Moreh. It was opened in mid April this year. As
the Tamu market of Myanmar has been shifted to this new complex trading
operations at Moreh on Indian side has been severely affected.

Sources at Moreh suspected the hand of Kuki militants and Tamil traders
in the raid. Burmese authorities also charged that the firing came from
a near by Indian security post.

Dead body of a Tamil who suspected to have been involved in the arson
was recovered with bullet wounds at Canan Veng near the gate No. 2,
which is close to the market complex.

The man is later identified as Ralbia, 33 of Dalpati Moreh. According to
the reports from across the border, the market complex was seen burning
till 6 AM today. There was also gunshots late last night which lasted
about 20 minutes, they said.

The barbed wires dividing the boundary of the two countries near the
Gate No. 2 were found snapped this morning. There were signs that
kerosene oil was taken along this point.

Sources said an attempt had been made by unidentified persons to set the
Namphalong market shed on the fire on September 20 this year.

The value of properties destroyed by the fire has been estimated at 15
crore* Burmese kyat, the sources said. Some Burmese officials are also
believed to be injured in the shootout.

They also said that the Burmese authorities had turned down a suggestion
by Indian security authorities at Moreh to hold a meet about the

It may mentioned that the incident came close on the heels of the
satyagraha organised by Samata Party led by George Fernandes.

Meitei community at Moreh reportedly informed the police and Army about
the fire in time.

Note. 1 crore = 10,000,000