Amit Shah said India to fence Myanmar border, free movement agreement to be disconnected

Sources – AFI

n a significant move, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that India will soon fence the entire 1,643 km border with Myanmar, mirroring the approach taken on the Bangladesh border. This comes alongside the decision to end the Free Movement Regime (FMR), a long-standing agreement allowing visa-free travel for residents within 16 km of the border

Shah’s declaration, made during the Assam Police commandos passing out parade in Guwahati, signifies a shift in India’s border management strategy towards Myanmar. This new policy is fueled by several concerns

Military Influx: Security sources reported over 500 Myanmarese soldiers fleeing ethnic cleansing crossed into India’s Mizoram state in the past three months. These soldiers sought refuge after their camps were overrun by Arakan Army militants, an armed ethnic group in Myanmar

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Ethnic Violence: Manipur, another northeastern state bordering Myanmar, has been rocked by ethnic violence since May 3rd, leaving at least 200 dead and displacing over 67.000 Meitei groups allege that illegal immigrants from Myanmar are involved in the unrest and blame them for supplying firearms to militants

Security Concerns: The porous border with Myanmar has long been a concern for India, facilitating not only illegal immigration but also smuggling of goods and weapons. The fencing and ending of the FMR aim to curb these activities and improve border security

However, the decision is likely to have mixed reactions While proponents see it as necessary to address security concerns and control illegal immigration, others fear it could isolate border communities and disrupt traditional ways of life.

The decision’s impact on India’s complex relationship with Myanmar remains to be seen. The ongoing political turmoil in Myanmar adds another layer of uncertainty to the equation. As India strengthens its border, it must also navigate the delicate diplomatic dynamics with its neighbor