NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced plans to fence the entire 1,643-kilometer stretch of the Indo-Myanmar border, indicating a potential shift in the Free Movement Regime (FMR) that allows residents along the border to travel 16 kilometers into each other's territory without formal documentation. The announcement, made via a social media post, outlined the Modi government's commitment to creating borders and improving surveillance along this strategic frontier.
Shah highlighted that a 10-kilometer stretch in Moreh, Manipur, had already been fenced as part of the initiative. The decision to construct a fence along the entire border underscores the government's determination to enhance national security and control unauthorized cross-border movements. A patrol track will also be established along the border to enhance surveillance capabilities.
The Home Minister revealed ongoing efforts, stating, "Two pilot projects of fencing through a Hybrid Surveillance System (HSS) are under execution, with plans to fence 1 km each in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur." Additionally, approval has been granted for fence works covering approximately 20 km in Manipur, with the commencement of the work expected soon. These initiatives represent a comprehensive approach to securing the border and curbing any potential threats.
The Free Movement Regime, introduced in 2018 as part of India's Act East policy, allowed residents in border regions of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh to travel 16 kilometers into each other's territories without the need for formal documentation. The potential shift away from this regime suggests a reevaluation of the security landscape and a focus on stricter border control measures.
This border-fencing project aligns with the government's broader strategy to strengthen national security and safeguard territorial integrity. The announcement comes amid geopolitical considerations and underscores India's commitment to addressing security challenges along its eastern frontier. As the fencing project progresses, it is likely to have far-reaching implications for the dynamics of cross-border movements and regional security cooperation.