Govt to conduct strict checks along Indo-Myanmar border

RSTV Bureau

The Ministry of Home Affairs may soon systematize the Free Movement Regime (FMR) along the Mizoram-Myanmar international border without inconveniencing the local people living in the border areas, a senior state government official said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh with his ministerial colleagues Rijiju and Hansraj Ahir

The decision comes after, an MHA team comprising senior officials from the home ministry has already visited Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, which has a border with Myanmar and where the Free Movement Regime (FMR) is in force.

“The FMR may soon be systematized and restricted along the 404-km-long Mizoram-Myanmar border as it was being used by insurgents and other criminal elements due to the strategic location of the state, “Additional Secretary for Home Lalbiakzama said.

With Mizo people residing both in Mizoram and Myanmar, the FMR was in place for their free movement up to 16 km without valid travel documents.

“The MHA expressed concern over the abuse of the FMR as insurgents of both the Indian and Myanmar sides used to freely move on the porous border areas while smugglers, drug traffickers, and gun-runners were also using the same routes,” he said.

The MHA had asked the Mizoram government to submit a report on the situation in the border areas, Lalbiakzama said.

The state home department had already made suggestions on streamlining the FMR during the visit of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and also to MHA officials.

Meanwhile, the state home department said, not a single Rohingya Muslim refugee had entered Mizoram till date.

About 170 Arakanese civilians who had taken shelter in some villages in Lawngtlai district of Mizoram had returned to their respective villages in Arakan, the home department said.