India-Myanmar border to be fenced soon


06:15 PM

1 min read

What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • What is Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)?
  • What is Free Movement Regime (FMR)?

Why in news?

  • Union Home Minister announced that the Centre has decided to fence the entire length of the currently porous India-Myanmar.
    • India and Myanmar share a 1,643-km border along the Northeastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, a porous border of which only 10 km is fenced in Manipur.
  • He also said that the Centre will consider ending its free movement regime (FMR) agreement with Myanmar.
  • He made this announcement while speaking on the 60th Raising Day ceremony of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), in Tezpur.

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

  • About
    • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) that come under the MHA’s administrative control.
    • The other forces being:
      • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF),
      • Border Security Force (BSF),
      • Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP),
      • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF),
      • Assam Rifles (AR), and
      • National Security Guard (NSG)
    • SSB is a border guarding force of India that is deployed along its borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
  • Background
    • The SSB was established in 1963 as the Special Services Bureau, in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression in 1962.
    • It came under the aegis of the Ministry of Home Affairs in January 2001.
    • In June 2001, the SSB was declared a Lead Intelligence Agency for Indo Nepal and assigned the Indo Nepal border.
    • Later, SSB was also assigned Indo Bhutan border (March 2004).
  • Main tasks
    • Guarding India's international borders with Nepal and Bhutan
    • Preventing cross-border crime and smuggling
    • Dealing with other anti-national activities within the country and its territories

Free Movement Regime (FMR)

  • About
    • FMR is a pact between India and Myanmar that allows tribes living along the border on either side to travel up to 16 km inside the other country without a visa.
    • The FMR was implemented in 2018 as part of the government’s Act East policy at a time when diplomatic relations between India and Myanmar were on the upswing.
      • In fact, the FMR was to be put in place in 2017 itself, but was deferred due to the Rohingya refugee crisis that erupted that August.
  • Rationale behind FMR
    • The boundary between India and Myanmar was demarcated by the British in 1826.
    • This effectively divided people of the same ethnicity and culture into two nations without seeking their opinion.
    • Hence, need was felt to enable ethnically similar communities living across the borders to move freely without the need of a visa.
    • The FMR was supposed to provide impetus to local trade and business.
      • However, it has been criticized for unintentionally aiding illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and gun-running.
  • Current status
    • However, the agreement has been defunct since 2020, first because of the Covid pandemic.
    • After the military coup in Myanmar in 2021 and the continued escalation of its refugee crisis, India suspended the FMR in September 2022.
      • After the military coup, there was an influx of undocumented migrants.
      • Over 40,000 refugees took shelter in Mizoram, and around 4,000 refugees are said to have entered Manipur.
      • The migrants belonging to the Kuki-Chin-Zo ethnic group share ethnic ties with communities in Mizoram and Manipur.

Q1) What are Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)?

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) are paramilitary forces in India that are under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs. They were previously known as the Central Para-Military Forces (CPMF).

Q2) Which Indian states share boundary with yanmar?

India and Myanmar share a 1,643-km border along the Northeastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Source: India-Myanmar border to be fenced soon, says Home Minister Amit Shah | SSB | MHA | Indian Express