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The Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday that the government has decided to construct a fence along the entire 1,643-kilometre-long border with Myanmar.

Amit shah
Shah said that the Modi government is committed to building “impenetrable borders.”

To facilitate better surveillance, he added that a patrol track along the border will also be paved.

This decision is expected to bring about the effective end of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) which allows individuals residing near the border to travel 16 km into either side of the boundary without any documentation.

“The Modi government is committed to building impenetrable borders. It has decided to construct a fence along the entire 1643-kilometer-long Indo-Myanmar border. To facilitate better surveillance, a patrol track along the border will also be paved,” Shah tweeted on X (Twitter) on Tuesday at 6:12 PM.

“Out of the total border length, a 10 km stretch in Moreh, Manipur, has already been fenced. Furthermore, two pilot projects of fencing through a Hybrid Surveillance System (HSS) are under execution. They will fence a stretch of 1 km each in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Additionally, fence works covering approx 20 km in Manipur have also been approved, and the work will start soon,” Shah tweeted.

Shah made a similar announcement on 20 January in Assam. He had said that the government is reconsidering India’s Free Movement Regime (FMG) agreement with Myanmar and will soon end free movement into India.

The fresh announcement comes days after Shah met Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh in Delhi on 3 February.

After the meeting, Singh had said that the Centre was set to make some important decisions in the interests of the people Manipur.

India and Myanmar share an unfenced border and people on either side have familial and ethnic ties which prompted the arrangement in the 1970s. FMR was last revised in 2018.

The Manipur Chief Minister has attributed the ongoing ethnic violence in the State that has claimed around 200 lives since May 2023 to the unregulated movement of people across the porous border.

The Manipur government had already suspended the FMR in 2020, post the COVID-19 pandemic. On September 23 last year the Chief Minister urged the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to cancel the FMR along the India-Myanmar border.

Mizoram and the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) and most other Naga nationalist political groups oppose the move, including political parties and civil society and mass-based organizations.

Fencing the Indo-Myanmar border is opposed by the Nagas of Nagaland, Manipur and Myanmar, the Kuki-Zo communities of Manipur, as well as the Mizos of Mizoram.

 

MTNews Desk

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