Panel to study free movement along Myanmar border

Facility being misused by militants and criminals: Rajnath

Published - June 12, 2017 11:30 pm IST - New Delhi

The Union Home Ministry has constituted another committee to examine methods to curb the misuse of free movement along the Myanmar border, indicating a significant shift in India’s policy towards Myanmar, a friendly country, with which it shares unfenced borders and unhindered movement of people across the border.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a two-day visit to Mizoram, said a committee headed by Rina Mitra, Special Secretary-Internal Security, was being constituted to “examine the present rules and regulations adopted by the border States for implementation of free movement regime.”

Mr. Singh said on Twitter, “Free movement regime is being misused by militants and trans-border criminals who smuggle weapons, contraband goods and fake Indian currency notes. Taking advantage of the free-movement regime, occasionally they enter India, commit crimes and escape to their relatively safer hideouts.” Since the NDA government came to power, this is the second time a committee is being constituted to study the free movement across the Myanmar border.

‘Change misnomer’

In 2015, a high-level committee report submitted by Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) chief R.N. Ravi suggested changing the “misnomer” related to “free border movement” and asked the government to replicate the model prevalent in villages and areas along the Bangladesh border. The report has suggested dedicated crossing points in border villages, where policemen would be made in charge of regulating the movement of people.

India and Myanmar share an unfenced border of 1,643 km.

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