Centre scraps free movement regime with Myanmar

NEW DELHI: Home minister Amit Shah on Thursday announced the decision to scrap the free movement regime (FMR) with Myanmar in the interest of

internal security

of the country and to maintain the

demographic structure

of the

northeastern states

bordering Myanmar. Pending the formal scrapping of FMR by the Union ministry of external affairs, the home ministry also recommended immediate suspension of FMR, which shall put a complete stop to

visa-free entry

of Myanmar nationals into Indian territory.

Having declared the govt’s intent to fence the entire 1,643-km border with Myanmar via X on Monday, Shah posted another update on Thursday. “It is PM Modi’s resolve to secure our borders. MHA has decided that FMR between India and Myanmar be scrapped to ensure the internal security of the country and to maintain the demographic structure of India’s northeastern states bordering Myanmar. Since the ministry of external affairs is currently in the process of scrapping it, MHA has recommended the immediate suspension of the FMR (sic),” he stated.
Sources told TOI that MEA’s decision on suspension of FMR with Myanmar should come soon. All Myanmar nationals will then need to secure a visa to enter India, which will have to be through a designated land border crossing, integrated check post or by air. Any Myanmar national found entering India without visa will be treated as illegal immigrant and face action under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and the Foreigners Act, 1946.
The FMR between India and Myanmar allows tribes living along the border on either side visa-free travel up to 16 km inside the neighbouring country. Security agencies have repeatedly warned MHA on how FMR was being misused to facilitate illegal immigration into areas adjoining Myanmar.

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