Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has welcomed the Centre’s decision to scrap the Free Movement Regime (FMR) between India and Myanmar. Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said the Centre has decided to scrap the FMR to maintain the country’s internal security and demographic structure of the northeastern states.

As the Ministry of External Affairs is currently in the process of scrapping it, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recommended the immediate suspension of FMR, Shah said. FMR allows people living close to the India-Myanmar border to go 16 km into each other’s territory without any documents.

The 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border, which passes through Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, currently has FMR. It was introduced in 2018 as part of India’s Act East policy, formalising a decades-old understanding on free movement.

“Gratitude to Hon PM, Shri @narendramodi Ji & Hon Home Min, Shri @AmitShah Ji, for their steadfast commitment to safeguard our borders. The decision to revoke Free Movement Regime (FMR) between India & Myanmar holds immense significance for our internal security and demographic integrity of the North Eastern States,” Khandu posted on X.

This landmark decision signifies yet another important step in the ongoing efforts to address illegal immigration. This builds on the recent announcement by the Centre to fence the 1,643-km Indo-Myanmar border, Khandu said in another social media post.

The porous border gives easy access to insurgent groups staying in Myanmar to carry out activities in the three eastern districts of the state – Tirap, Changlang, and Longding.