Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday (20 January) announced that the Centre plans to fence the India-Myanmar border, similar to the existing barricade along the Bangladesh border, to control unrestricted entry into the country.
This move signals the impending end of the Free Movement Regime (FMR), which currently allows residents near the India-Myanmar border to travel 16 km into each other's territory without a visa.
Addressing a gathering at the passing out parade of Assam Police commandos in Guwahati, Shah said, "India's border with Myanmar will soon be protected like the border with Bangladesh".
"I want to tell my friends in Assam that the Narendra Modi government has decided to fence India's open border along with Myanmar just like we have fenced the country's border along with Bangladesh," Shah said, India Today reported.
"The government is also reconsidering India's Free Movement Regime (FMR) agreement with Myanmar and will soon end the free movement into India," he added.
India shares a 1,643-km-long border with Myanmar, which passes through states like Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh. All these states currently have FMR, which was implemented in 2018 as a part of India's Act East policy.
Shah's remarks came a month after India raised its security concerns with Myanmar, especially the challenges along the border, including the influx of Myanmarese refugees in the country.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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