Union Home Minister Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced on Tuesday that India has opted to fence the entire 1,643-kilometer-long India-Myanmar border, potentially bringing an end to the Free Movement Regime (FMR) that currently allows people residing near the border to move 16 kilometers into each other’s territory without documentation.

In a post on X, Shah said the Modi government’s commitment to building impenetrable borders, outlining plans to construct a fence along the entire Indo-Myanmar border and pave a patrol track for enhanced surveillance.

“It has decided to construct a fence along the entire 1643-kilometer-long Indo-Myanmar border. To facilitate better surveillance, a patrol track along the border will also be paved,” he said.

Shah further highlighted that a 10-kilometer stretch in Moreh, Manipur, has already been fenced, with two pilot projects utilizing a hybrid surveillance system underway to fence 1 kilometer each in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Additionally, the approval of fence works covering approximately 20 kilometers in Manipur signals imminent commencement of the project.

“They will fence a stretch of 1 km each in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Additionally, fence works covering approx 20 km in Manipur have also been approved, and the work will start soon,”

The India-Myanmar border traverses Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, implementing FMR in 2018 as part of India’s Act East policy.

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The decision to fence the border responds to persistent demands from Imphal Valley-based Meitei groups, alleging that tribal militants frequently cross into India through the porous border and that narcotics smuggling takes advantage of the unfenced international border.

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