Mizoram MP says ‘not being allowed to raise issues’ with FMR removal along Myanmar border in RS

Mizoram Rajya Sabha Member K. Vanlalvena said the locals will loose access to their kin and to large swathes of agricultural lands and fishing grounds due to the fencing and the removal of the FMR

February 09, 2024 08:48 pm | Updated 08:48 pm IST - New Delhi

An Indian national flag flies next to an immigration check post on the India-Myanmar border in Zokhawthar village in Champhai district of India’s northeastern state of Mizoram.

An Indian national flag flies next to an immigration check post on the India-Myanmar border in Zokhawthar village in Champhai district of India’s northeastern state of Mizoram. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Mizoram Rajya Sabha Member K. Vanlalvena, of the Mizo National Front, an National Democratic Alliance member, on Friday said he is not being allowed to speak in the House on the issue of India’s decision to remove the Free Movement Regime (FMR) along the Indo-Myanmar border despite submitting an application to raise it during Zero Hour four times. 

He said it was a “burning issue” in the States along the Indo-Myanmar border but Tribal MP’s from there are “not given a  single minute to raise this issue”. Mr. Vanlalvena added that he had sent a memorandum to Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday expressing “serious concern and resentment” over the decision to remove the FMR. 

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In the memorandum, he explained how the people of his State will loose access to their kin and to large swathes of agricultural lands and fishing grounds as a result of the fencing and the removal of the FMR, adding that the injustice imposed upon their people by the British’s “arbitrarily demarcated” borders continued to this day. 

“The Britishers during Colonial period had divided our ancestral land into three countries. The intention of making fencing between our ethnic communities by the Union Govt is just the acceptance of the unjust ruling of the colonial rulers,” he told The Hindu, adding, “The Union Government could accept the wrong-doing of the British administrators upon the North East tribal people.”

“I have visited many villages of the border area. They are all afraid of fencing the boundary because 80% of the long border is consisting of natural rivers which is their good fishing ground from the time of their ancestors,” Mr. Vanlalvena explained.

In the memorandum to the Home Minister, the Mizoram MP admitted that one may argue in favour of fencing with an intention to stop cross-border smuggling of arms, drugs, and illicit materials. But one must also note, he added, that such fencing had been done along the Indo-Bangladesh border, “but it has not achieved fruitful results” given how frequently security forces intercept such illegal consignments. 

In fact, as for the Indo-Bangladesh border, Mr. Vanlalvena said, “I have realised that some villages had been put outside fencing till today that means many houses of our fellow Indian citizens were put outside  border fencing. Moreover, a very long boundary rivers were also put outside fencing. We have been lost a lot of land due to Bangladesh border fencing. My suggestion is to remove all Indo-Bangladesh border fencing in the state of Mizoram.”

He added, “As we all know, the Myanmar government, both democratic and military never ever encroach our boundary during this 75 years. They are always good friend to India. There is no need to create border fencing. If we want to make fencing  at the border,let us make along the China border in Ladhak and Arunachal or at Pakistan border in Punjab and Kashmir because these two countries are always making border encroachment.”

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