NEW DELHI: In a significant turn of events, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, on Thursday, announced the central government's decision of scrapping the free movement regime between India and Myanmar.
Amit Shah took to the micro-blogging site X (formerly known as Twitter) to share the news.
"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 northeastern States bordering Myanmar," the Union Home Minister's post read.
He also added that it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's resolve to secure our borders.
Shah announced the centre's decision to fence the entire 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border.
The Meitei groups, based on the Imphal valley, have long-demanded the fencing of the border.
These groups have raised concerns regarding the infiltration of tribal militants through the porous border and have also alleged that the unfenced international boundary has led to the smuggling of narcotics.
Shah informed that a patrol pathway will also be built along the border between India and Myanmar so as to enhance surveillance capabilities.
Aditionally, the Home Minister stated that two trial projects utilizing Hybrid Surveillance Systems (HSS) for fencing are currently under process. These projects would each fence a one-kilometer section in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
Besides these, Shah said that fencing works covering approximately 20 km in Manipur have also been approved and the work will commence soon.
As per the FMR policy, people from hill tribes who are citizens of India or Myanmar and live within a 16-km radius on both sides of the border are eligible to cross with a border pass that is valid for a year and permits them to remain for up to two weeks at a time.
Meanwhile, earlier in September 2023, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had urged the Centre to terminate the FMR.