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India To Fence Entire 1,643 Km Border With Myanmar, Says Home Minister Amit Shah | India News

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New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced on Tuesday that the government of India has decided to fence the whole 1,643 km border with Myanmar. He said that this would enhance the surveillance along the border, and a patrol track would also be laid. Shah asserted that the Modi government is dedicated to creating unbreachable borders. He said that out of the total border length, a 10 km section in Moreh, Manipur, has been fenced already.

He also said that two pilot projects using a Hybrid Surveillance System (HSS) are in progress. They will fence 1 km each in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Moreover, he said that fence works for about 20 km in Manipur have been sanctioned, and they will commence soon.

The government has also initiated the ‘Vibrant Village’ programme for the border villages of India. An official said that previously, villages located in the border areas were regarded as the country’s last villages, but that view has changed.

Now, according to the government of India’s policy, these villages are the first villages near the borders.

Prime Minister Modi has already stated that when the sun rises in the east, its first ray reaches a border village and when the sun sets, the village on this side gets the benefit of its last ray.

The latest move is deemed important given the vulnerability and threats of the 1,643 km unfenced India-Myanmar border covering Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.

In fact, except for a 10-km section in Manipur, the India-Myanmar border through challenging terrains like hills and forests is unfenced. The Indian security forces face a hard time dealing with the challenges posed by the extremist groups that conduct hit-and-run operations from their concealed bases in the Chin and Sagaing regions of Myanmar.

The inward smuggling of drugs and outward smuggling of wildlife body parts across the borders with Myanmar has also been one of the major worries for India.

The catalyst for the decision to erect fencing is also the clash that erupted between the dominant Meitei and the tribal Kuki-Zo communities in Manipur on May 3, 2023.

Also, over the last decade, the Manipur government has been expressing concern over the “influx” of Myanmar nationals. Amid the violence in Manipur, a few hundred Myanmar nationals were found seeking shelter in the state to flee a civil war in their country.

In September 2023, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had attributed the ethnic violence to the free movement of Myanmar nationals into India and urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to terminate the Free Movement Regime (FMR), which had been suspended on April 1, 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The suspension was prolonged after the military coup in Myanmar in February 2021.

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