Smart fence along Myanmar border in the pipeline: govt.

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Source: The post is based on the article “Smart fence along Myanmar border in the pipeline: govt.” published in “The Hindu” on 10th October 2023

What is the News?

The Government of India is planning to build an advanced smart fencing system of 100 km along the Myanmar border to strengthen the existing surveillance system.

What is the Free Movement Regime(FMR) along the India Myanmar Border(IMB)?

India shares a 1,643-km border with Myanmar which passes through Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km).

A Free Movement Regime (FMR) exists between India and Myanmar.

Under the FMR, every member of the hill tribes, who is either a citizen of India or a citizen of Myanmar and who is resident of any area within 16 km on either side of the Indo-

Myanmar border can cross the border on production of a border pass (one year validity) issued by the competent authority and can stay up to two weeks per visit.

The Manipur government has suspended the FMR since the 2020 post COVID-19 pandemic. 

Why was FMR conceptualized between India and Myanmar?

The border between India and Myanmar was demarcated by the British in 1826, without seeking the opinion of the people living in the region.

The border effectively divided people of the same ethnicity and culture into two nations without their consent.

Hence, that’s why FMR was conceptualized to facilitate people-to-people contact.Apart from that, FMR was also supposed to provide impetus to local trade and business.The region has a long history of trans-border commerce through customs and border haats.

Why is the Government now planning to build a smart fencing system along the India Myanmar Border?

Unfenced border and unregulated migration from Myanmar have been attributed as some of the factors responsible for the ethnic violence in Manipur.

In 2022, out of the 201 insurgency-related incidents registered in all the northeast States, as many as 137 incidents were registered in Manipur.

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