Scrapping FMR : Securing the North East


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The recent decision by the Government to scrap the India-Myanmar Free Movement Regime (FMR) and initiate comprehensive measures to fortify the border is a crucial step towards safeguarding the internal security and demographic integrity of the North Eastern States.
The Union Home Minister’s announcement underscores the Government’s commitment to addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by porous borders and cross-border infiltrations.
The North Eastern region, with its diverse ethnic landscape and strategic geographical position, has long grappled with security concerns emanating from its porous borders with Myanmar. The India-Myanmar border, stretching over 1,643 kilometres through States like Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, has been susceptible to illegal immigration, insurgent activities and smuggling operations facilitated by the lax enforcement of border regulations. The scrapping of the FMR, which allowed unrestricted movement of people within 16 kilometres of the border without documentation, signals a shift towards a more stringent border control regime. This decision, coupled with the proposed fencing of the entire border and the establishment of patrol tracks for enhanced surveillance, reflects the Government’s proactive approach to bolstering security infrastructure in the region.
The influx of illegal immigrants and insurgents from Myanmar has strained law enforcement efforts and heightened tensions within the North Eastern States. Instances of ethnic violence, such as the recent clashes in Manipur, underscore the delicate socio-political dynamics at play in the region. The influx of refugees fleeing the political turmoil in Myanmar further exacerbates existing challenges, necessitating urgent measures to manage the humanitarian crisis while ensuring national security interests.
The significance of securing the India-Myanmar border extends beyond border management; it is integral to preserving the demographic balance and cultural heritage of the North Eastern States. The influx of outsiders has the potential to alter the socio-economic landscape and disrupt communal harmony, posing a long-term threat to the region’s stability and cohesion. By taking decisive action to fortify the border and address the root causes of insecurity, the Government reaffirms its commitment to the welfare of the people of the North East and the broader National interest.
Courtesy Daily Excelsior