The Centre on Thursday (8 February) scrapped the Free Movement Regime (FMR) between India and Myanmar.
This move comes as part of the Centre's efforts to safeguard internal security of the country and to maintain the demographic structure of India’s North Eastern States.
The announcement was made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
In a post on social media platform X, Shah said that It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's resolve to secure India's borders.
"The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided that the Free Movement Regime (FMR) between India and Myanmar be scrapped to ensure the internal security of the country and to maintain the demographic structure of India’s North Eastern States bordering Myanmar," Shah said.
Shah further said, "Since the Ministry of External Affairs is currently in the process of scrapping it, MHA has recommended the immediate suspension of the FMR".
India has a 1,643 km border with Myanmar, which passes through states like Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, and it is unique in many ways as it has a visa-free movement regime, which was implemented in 2018 as a part of India's Act East policy, for people living within 16 km on either side of the border.
They can stay up to 72 hours with effective and valid permits issued by the designated authorities on either side. This regime has been in place keeping in view the traditional social relations among the border people. It helps genuine people living in close proximity of the border.
However, it has also been misused by militants and criminals who smuggle weapons, narcotics, and contraband goods etc.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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