Khiamniungan Tribal Council says no to scrapping of Free Movement Regime
DIMAPUR — The Khiamniungan Tribal Council (KTC) has objected to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent announcement to scrap the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and build fence along the Indo-Myanmar border, cautioning that it would be compelled to counter the move if the government of India (GoI) jeopardizes the oneness of Khiamniungan community.
In a press release, the KTC stated that the arbitrary imaginary line which demarcated their soil stretching from BP139 Thongsonyu to BP146 ITC (DAN) Pangsha was neither consented nor accepted by the people of Khiamniungan.
It said the oneness, peaceful co-existence, mutual respect, cultural ties and brotherhood of the Khiamniungan community should not be jeopardized by restricting their free movement and building fence.
“The Khiamniungans are living under one Flag, Motto & Emblem irrespective of the artificial Indo-Myanmar border and never ever live as divided tribe since time immemorial (sic),” it stated, while requesting the GoI not to compare with the Manipur issue as the Khiamniungan people in both sides of the countries are peace-loving.
Asserting that restricting their movement on the pretext of controlling smuggling of illegal substances is unjustifiably, the council said such a move will have impact including losing traditionally owned jhum land and fields as people own land on both sides of the border.
It added that the move will hurt the sentiments of the Khiamniungan Nagas as its 46 villages fall under India and more than 182 villages under Myanmar.
Meanwhile, the KTC requested the Indian and Nagaland governments to expedite the infrastructure and developmental programmes at the designated ITC DAN, Pangsha, to prmote peace among the people from both the countries as well as enhance economic cooperation, cultural ties and strategic relationship with South East Asian countries in line with Act East Policy, instead of dividing the Nagas.