MHA recommends ‘immediate suspension’ of FMR
KOHIMA — The Ministry of Home Affairs has recommended “immediate suspension” of the Free Movement Regime (FMR), following the centre’s decision to scrap the mutually agreed arrangement between India and Myanmar.
“It is Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi Ji’s resolve to secure our borders,” Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on X, adding that the decision was taken 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,” Shah said.
The announcement comes two days after Shah said India has decided to fence the entire 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border— a move that was met with opposition from Nagas in Nagaland and Myanmar.
Nagaland shares 215 km with Myanmar in the 1643-km border between Myanmar and the Indian North Eastern states of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.
Various civil society organisations, individuals and residents at the border including the Chief Angh of Longwa Village, whose house was divided by the border line, strongly rejected the idea of a fenced border.
“Since we are scattered on both sides, our separation by the erection of a border fence is something we never thought of, and in any circumstances, we will not accept the idea,” the Chief Angh had said.
The Eastern Naga Students Association (ENSA), a Myanmar-based student body of the Nagas of Myanmar, too opposed the scrapping of FMR while adding the fenced border is “not acceptable” and disrespectful to the Nagas living across the borders.
The decision was welcomed by the state leaders of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur out of four North Eastern states that shares border with Myanmar.
Shah previously announced the centre’s decision to construct a fence along the entire 1643-kilometer-long Indo-Myanmar border.
“To facilitate better surveillance, a patrol track along the border will also be paved. Out of the total border length, a 10 km stretch in Moreh, Manipur, has already been fenced”, he said, adding that two pilot projects of fencing through a Hybrid Surveillance System (HSS) are under execution.