Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the government will end the free movement of people at the India-Myanmar border, and fence it completely so that it can be protected like the country’s boundary with Bangladesh.
Shah made the announcement while addressing the passing out parade of the first batch of the five newly constituted Assam Police Commando battalions in Guwahati.
“The Narendra Modi government has decided that the India-Myanmar border, which is open, will be protected by barbed fencing. The entire border will have barbed fencing like what we have at the India-Bangladesh border,” he said.
“The Indian government is rethinking the free movement agreement with Myanmar. Now, the Government of India is going to stop this facility,” he added.
The Free Movement Regime allows people living on both sides of the border to travel 16 km into each other’s territory without a visa. Four Indian states — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, share a 1,643-km-long border with Myanmar.
Earlier, officials had said that the government was planning to fence a 300-km stretch of the border.
More than 31,000 people from Myanmar, mostly from the Chin state, have taken refuge in Mizoram following the military coup in the neighbouring country in February 2021. Many also took shelter in Manipur.
Dozens of Myanmar soldiers stationed near the international border with India also fled to Mizoram following intense gunfights with militia group People’s Defence Force (PDF) last year. They were later sent back to their country.
Shah also said that there has been a huge change in the law and order of the country under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi during the last 10 years.
Attacking the Congress, he alleged that people had to pay bribes to get government jobs during its tenure, and maintained that not a single penny had to be paid for employment under the BJP rule.
On the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya, Shah said that Lord Ram would return home after 550 “disrespectful” years.
“It’s a matter of pride for the entire India,” he said, noting that it was happening at a time when the country was on course to become a superpower.
Congratulating the 2,551 commandos who were inducted into the force at the function, Shah said that the Assam Police has faced challenges such as riots during the Partition, refugee problem, infiltration, the Bangladesh liberation war, insurgency and drug menace.
“However, the Assam Police has a rich history of fighting these challenges and winning,” he said. (PTI)