Aizawl: Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma opposed Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement to fence the India-Myanmar border and reconsider the existing Free Movement Regime (FMR) between the two countries. The Mizoram CM, hours after the Home Minister’s announcement, said in Aizawl, that his government does not have the authority to stop the Central government from erecting border fencing along the India-Myanmar border and scrapping the FMR but the State government would oppose both the move.
Lalduhoma said that the border with Myanmar in Mizoram was “unilaterally imposed” by the British without consulting the people and the Mizo-Zo-Chin community people living on both sides of the border do not accept the boundary.
“If the Central government fences the India-Myanmar border and withdraws the FMR, the state government has no authority to prevent it and we only can oppose the steps,” the Chief Minister told the media.
The Union Home Minister while addressing the passing-out parade of 2,551 commandos of Assam Police in Guwahati on Saturday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has decided that India-Myanmar border would also be fenced on the lines of India-Bangladesh border. He said that the Central government has been re-considering the existing agreement between Myanmar and India for free movement.
The FMR allows citizens residing close to both sides of the border to move 16 km into each other’s territory without passport or visa. Lalduhoma said that Mizoram government and different other organisations in the state were opposed to the fencing of the India-Myanmar border and scrapping of the FMR as Mizos of Mizoram share similar ethnic and cultural ties with the people of the Chin-Zo community in Myanmar.
The Chief Minister said that during his last month’s visit to Delhi, he had discussed both the fencing and the FMR issues with PM Modi, Home Minister Shah and External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, and they did not oppose his appeal on both the issues. Around 32,000 people from Myanmar, mostly from the Chin state, have taken refuge in Mizoram following the military coup in the neighbouring country in February 2021.
Mizoram’s most influential civil society organisation Young Mizo Association (CYMA) and the state’s students’ body Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) have also been opposing the Centre’s decision to fence the border and scrap the FMR.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, however, had earlier requested the Union Home Ministry to cancel the FMR and fence the India-Myanmar with Manipur. (IANS)