Abolishing FMR will exacerbate conflicts in NEFR, says NSF
DIMAPUR — The 1,643-km India-Myanmar border is a complex landscape with diverse communities and histories, and the Indian government’s decision to abolish the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and fence the border area is “a regressive step that will exacerbate conflicts in the North-East Frontier Region,” the Naga Students’ Federation said on Tuesday.
Stating that the centre’s decision disregards the rights of Naga people, the NSF, in a press release, contended that the proposed fencing of the boundary-line raises serious concerns about the historical context and the impact it will have on the Naga people.
“The lands and hills between the Chindwin River and the Saramati mountain range, presently on the Burma-side, are an integral part of the Naga heritage. It is crucial for India to acknowledge the historical truth that these territories belong to the Nagas,” it maintained.
According to the student body, the “duplicity separation line, which has persisted for over 80 years, has been a root cause of conflicts and insurgencies in the North-East Frontier Region,” and this cycle of conflict will persist until a just and equitable resolution is achieved.
“The Naga people, on both sides of the Saramati mountain range, have suffered the consequences of arbitrary divisions imposed by external forces. The Nagas on the Burma-side were forced into conflicts with the Government of Burma, while those on the Indian side were embroiled in struggles with the Government of India.
The attempt to arbitrarily divide and fence the Nagas is an affront to our rights and autonomy. Such attempts to disrupt our unity will only sow the seeds of discord and unrest,” the NSF asserted.
It said that India, as a responsible nation, must recognise that it has “no right to unilaterally decide the fate of the Naga people through fencing.”
The student body went on to state that the FMR has played a crucial role in facilitating interactions between people residing close to the India-Myanmar border and abolishing it would not only restrict the cultural and social exchange between communities but will also add a layer of tension to an already delicate situation.
Stating that the 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border traversing through Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh is a complex landscape with diverse communities and histories, the NSF urged the Indian government to reconsider its decision and engage in a meaningful dialogue with the Naga community to find a solution that respects historical rights and aspirations.
Asserting that it stands united against “the unilateral actions proposed by the Indian government,” the NSF called for a just and inclusive resolution that respects the historical realities and aspirations of the Naga people.
“The NSF remains committed to fostering peace, unity, and understanding in the region,” it added.