‘Free movement’ along Myanmar border

Home Ministry holds talks with four northeastern States

The Centre is putting in measures to facilitate free movement of Indian and Myanmarese citizens within 16 km along the Myanmar border.

On Monday, the Home Ministry held consultations with four States — Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh — on the Free Movement Regime (FMR).

In June, the Ministry had constituted a committee to examine various methods to curb the misuse of free movement along the Myanmar border, a friendly country, with which it shares unfenced borders and unhindered movement of people across the border.

The committee headed by Rina Mitra, Special Secretary-Internal Security, visited the border areas in September.

The move comes in the wake of large-scale displacement of Rohingya people from Rakhine State in Myanmar.

Parallel discussion

A senior Home Ministry official also said a “parallel discussion” involving the Ministry of External Affairs and their counterparts in Myanmar was on to allow Indian nationals going to, and staying in, Myanmar for up to 72 hours under the bilateral agreement.

While India allows Myanmarese nationals to stay for 72 hours without visa, Myanmar allows stay only up to 24 hours, an official said.

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