IMPHAL: Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has welcomed the decision to fence the India-Myanmar border. Singh expressed his gratitude to Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the announcement, contrasting sharply with Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma's strong opposition to the fencing and the termination of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) between the two nations.
The statehood day function became a platform for Singh to reiterate his support for the decision, giving credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for initiating the fencing of the 398-km India-Myanmar border with Manipur and abolishing the FMR. This move by the Union Government comes in response to growing concerns about vulnerability and threats along the 1,643 km unfenced India-Myanmar border, spanning across Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram.
The comprehensive decision involves the fencing of the entire border and the scrapping of the FMR, which previously permitted citizens residing near both sides of the border to move 16 kilometres into each other's territory without the need for a passport or visa.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, addressing the passing out parade of 2,551 commandos of Assam Police in Guwahati, emphasized that the India-Myanmar border would now be fenced similarly to the Indo-Bangladesh border. The move is part of the government's strategy to address security concerns and curb potential threats along the porous border.
Furthermore, the existing agreement between Myanmar and India for free movement is now under reconsideration, indicating a shift in diplomatic dynamics between the two nations. The Union Government's decision reflects a broader strategy to secure India's borders and aligns with previous efforts to fortify other international borders, such as the fencing of the Indo-Bangladesh border.
While Manipur stands in support of the proactive measures to enhance border security, Mizoram remains firm in its opposition, raising questions about the regional implications of this decision. As the fencing plan progresses, the contrasting stances of Manipur and Mizoram highlight the complex web of diplomatic considerations and security priorities within India's northeastern states.