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Updated February 8th, 2024 at 14:00 IST

India Ends Free Movement Agreement with Myanmar, Amit Shah Cites Internal Security Concerns

“Free Movement Regime between India and Myanmar to be scrapped to ensure internal security of country,” said Home Minister Amit Shah

Reported by: Apoorva Shukla
India to construct a fence along the entire 1643-kilometre-long Indo-Myanmar border
India to construct a fence along the entire 1643-kilometre-long Indo-Myanmar border | Image:PTI/ X
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New Delhi: India will scrap the Free Movement Regime with Myanmar, announced Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, February 8. Amit Shah said that the decision has been taken for maintaining India's internal security. 

“Free Movement Regime between India and Myanmar to be scrapped to ensure internal security of country,” said Home Minister Amit Shah. He said that it was necessary to maintain demographic structure of the Northeast region. 

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The announcement came two days after Amit Shah announced India has decided to fence the entire 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border. “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,” said Amit Shah in a post on X. 

On Tuesday, the home minister had said besides constructing a fence along the entire Indo-Myanmar border, a patrol track along the border will also be paved to facilitate better surveillance.

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What is Free Movement Regime? 

Free Movement Regime was  implemented in 2018 as part of India's Act East policy on the India-Myanmar border, which passes through Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. 

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FMR allows people residing close to the India-Myanmar border to venture 16 km into each other's territory without any documents.

Fencing at India-Myanmar Border: A long standing demand

Fencing along the border has been a persistent demand of the Imphal valley-based Meitei groups which have been alleging that tribal militants often enter into India through the porous border.

Manipur shares around 390 kms of porous border with Myanmar, but only about 10 kms has been fenced so far. The Meitei groups also allege that narcotics are being smuggled into India taking advantage of the unfenced international border. In July last year, the state government shared data that around 700 illegal immigrants entered the state.

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Besides, Mizoram has seen an influx of anti-Junta rebels in thousands since the military coup in Myanmar on February 1, 2021.

 

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(With inputs from agencies) 

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Published February 8th, 2024 at 12:35 IST

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