Border fencing 'unacceptable': Mizoram CM Mizos divided by British stand aired


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Guwahati, Jan 4
Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma told Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar that any move to fence the Indo-Myanmar border was "unacceptable".
"The British had separated the Mizos by carving out Burma from India. They divided the Mizo ethnic people's land from the ancient days into two parts. That is why we cannot accept the border, instead we always dream of becoming a Nation under one administration," Lalduhoma told Jaishankar in their first meeting in New Delhi after becoming the CM, on Wednesday evening.
The Mizoram CM further said that any move to fence the border would approve the border created by the British dividing the ethnic Mizos. "It shall be unacceptable for us," Lalduhoma said.
This comes days after MHA officials told a section of media that the Ministry was planning to fence 300 km of unfenced stretches of the border with Myanmar.
They said MHA was also going to end the Free Movement Regime (FMR), which allows ethnic people living on both sides of the border to travel within 16 kms (both sides) without a Visa. They will now require a visa, the officials said.
India shares 1,643 kms of border with Myanmar.
The FMR was introduced in the 1970s as ethnic tribes living in Myanmar and India share ethnic and familial ties and they wanted a system for easy movement. They now just require a travel pass issued by the border guarding force (Assam Rifles) to cross the border.
Manipur appeal
But after the violence between Meiteis and Kukis broke out in Manipur, CM N Biren Singh urged the Centre to cancel the FMR saying insurgents and drug smugglers were misusing the system to carry on with "anti-India activities".
Kukis share ethnic ties with the Mizos of Mizoram and Chins of Myanmar.
The Kuki-Zos have, in fact, stepped up their demand for "unification" of the Zofate (Kuki-Zo-Chins) living in India and Myanmar for creation of a "separate administration" in order to end the conflict.
Former CM Zoramthanga also publicly extended support to the demand for "unification" of the Zofate. Laldhuhoma's party, Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), which formed its first Government in Mizoram by defeating Mizo National Front recently, also promised "unification" of the Zofate in its poll manifesto.
Mizoram has provided shelters to nearly 40,000 Chin "refugees" from Myanmar since the military had taken over the elected Government in 2021 and launched a crackdown against the "prodemocracy protesters".
Lalduhoma also discussed the issues related to Myanmar refugees, said an official statement issued by Mizoram government.
Deccan Herald