India has decided to fence the entire 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced on Tuesday. The move could virtually put an end to the Free Movement Regime (FMR) prevalent along the porous border. The FMR allows people residing close to the India-Myanmar border to venture 16 km into each other’s territory without any document.
The 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border, which passes through Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, currently has FMR. It was implemented in 2018 as part of India’s Act East policy.
Fencing along the border has been a persistent demand of the Imphal Valley-based Meitei groups which have been alleging that tribal militants often enter into India through the porous border.
The Meitei groups also allege that narcotics are being smuggled into India taking advantage of the unfenced international border.
In a post on X, Shah said the Narendra Modi government is committed to building impenetrable borders.
“It has decided 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,” he said.
The home minister said a 10-km stretch of the border in Moreh in Manipur has already been fenced.
Furthermore, two pilot projects of fencing through a hybrid surveillance system are under execution.
“They will fence a stretch of 1 km each in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Additionally, fence works covering approx 20 km in Manipur have also been approved, and the work will start soon,” he said.