Scrapping of Free Movement Regime along Indo-Myanmar border needs thorough discussion, says Nagaland CM
KOHIMA — Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Friday said that the central government’s decision to scrap the Free Movement Regime (FMR) along the Indo-Myanmar border needs a “thorough discussion” and that the state government has to “consult the people” on the matter.
“If need be, then we have to work out a formula (on) how to solve the issue of the public and to prevent the infiltration because Nagaland, our border with Myanmar (is as such that) both side is Naga,” Rio told journalists on the sideline of the 75th Republic Day, amid Centre’s move receiving stiff opposition from various quarters.
He also expressed hope that a formula could be worked out on the matter, while pointing out the complexities in fencing the Myanmar-Nagaland border.
“My village is (on) one side and my kheti (fields) are on the other side. There has to be a workable formula,” he said.
Earlier this week, Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton had assured that leaders of north-eastern states sharing borders with Myanmar would discuss on the issue first before approaching the central leaders.
The Centre’s move to abolish the FMR within the “mutually agreed” 16-km Indo-Myanmar border on both sides was met with opposition in few states, including Nagaland.
Several groups and civil societies including the Naga Students’ Federation, Rising People’s Party and NSCN (IM) have urged the Centre to reconsider the decision.
Nagaland shares 215 km with Myanmar in the 1643-km border between Myanmar and north-eastern states of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.