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Centre’s big decision, ends Free Movement Regime (FMR) with Myanmar

First Published: 8th February, 2024 13:56 IST

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the decision has been taken to maintain the demographic structure of the Northeast

Days after making it official that the porous India, Myanmar border would be fenced, the Centre has now formally decided to end the Free Movement Regime (FMR) with Myanmar.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah took to X to inform about the Centre’s decision.

In his post, Home Minister Shah wrote, “It is Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi Ji’s resolve to secure our borders.

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 North Eastern States bordering Myanmar. Since the Ministry of External Affairs is currently in the process of scrapping it, MHA has recommended the immediate suspension of the FMR.”

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh also took to X and expressed his gratitude to the Centre for taking the historic step.

“Immensely grateful to Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi Ji and Hon’ble HM Shri @AmitShah Ji for their commitment to securing our borders. The decision to scrap the Free Movement Regime (FMR) between India and Myanmar, as recommended by @HMOIndia, is crucial for our internal security and the demographic integrity of our North Eastern States.
This is yet another historic decision in curbing illegal immigration and strengthening our internal security after the recent announcement to fence the 1643 Km Indo-Myanmar border by Government of India,” the Manipur CM wrote in his post.

Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma too welcomed the Centre’s decision which is seen as major step to stop influx and insurgency in the Northeast.

Sharing his thoughts on this big development, Chief Minister Sarma posted on X and said, “Yet another decisive step to secure Bharat! I welcome the efforts of Hon’ble Home Minister Shri @AmitShah ji to terminate the Free Movement Regime. This policy along with the ongoing fencing of the Indo-Myanmar border will help build a full-proof mechanism to check infiltration and insurgency in the North East. Under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji, we are witnessing long term solutions that will bring lasting peace and progress in our region.”

India and Myanmar share a 1,643 km border across Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, of which only 10 km is fenced, in Manipur.

The FMR allows tribes living along the border on either side, many of whom share ethnic bonds, to travel up to 16 km inside the other country without a visa and stay up to two weeks. The Free Movement Regime (FMR), implemented in 2018, allows people residing on either side of the India-Myanmar border to venture 16 km into each other’s territory without visa.

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