What is the Free Movement Regime (FMR)?

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The Home Minister recently said the Free Movement Regime (FMR) agreement with Myanmar would be reconsidered to stop border residents from moving into each other’s country without any paperwork.

About Free Movement Regime (FMR):

  • Under the FMR, all the hill tribes, whether they are citizens of India or Myanmar, can travel within 16 km on either side of theIndo-Myanmar Border (IMB).
  • They can cross the border by producing a border pass with a one-year validity issued by the competent authority and canstay up to two weeks per visit.
  • The FMR was implemented in 2018as part of the Central government’s Act East policy.
  • FMR is implemented by both governments for the people living along the IMB.
  • This helps locals get more culturally assimilated with trans-border villages through weddings, celebrating common festivals together, and trans-border trade.
  • It is a reflection of the physical, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and fraternal linkages among the trans-border villagers.

Key Facts about Indo-Myanmar Border (IMB):

o It runs for 1,643 km in the four states of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.

o It runs from the tripoint with China in the north to the tripoint with Bangladesh in the south.

o Assam Rifles is tasked with guarding the IMB.

Q1: What is Assam Rifles?

The Assam Rifles, one of the central armed police forces, is the leading counter-insurgency force in the Northeast. It is the oldest paramilitary force in India. It is tasked with the maintenance of law and order in the North East along with the Indian Army and also guards the Indo-Myanmar border in the region. It is the only paramilitary force with a dual control structure. While the administrative control of the force is with the Ministry of Home Affairs, its operational control is with the Indian Army, which is under the Ministry of Defence.

Source:Reconsidering the free movement regime | Explained