India to put curbs on ‘easy’ Myanmar border crossing


The Mizoram India-Myanmar border. Photo: Hong Sar/Mizzima

The Mizoram India-Myanmar border. Photo: Hong Sar/Mizzima

To tackle the movement of “extremists” along the porous Myanmar border, the Indian government is mulling over changing the “free border movement” arrangement in existence in the bordering states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur since Independence, according to The Hindu on January 22.

The newspaper claims this will “lead to a radical shift in India’s policy towards Myanmar, a friendly country, with which it shares unfenced borders and unhindered movement of people across the border.”

Based on a high-level committee report submitted by Joint Intelligence Committee chief R.N Ravi, the Indian government is all set to change the “misnomer” related to “free border movement” and will try to replicate the model prevalent along the Bangladesh border, according to the paper.

The report has suggested dedicated crossing points in border villages, where policemen would be in charge of regulating the movement of people. “The movement of people will not be curtailed, as they have strong social and cultural ties across the border, but instead it will be regulated. Every citizen would need to have an identity proof like a passport,” said a senior official.

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