NEW DELHI: India has banned the movement of people through Tamu-Morehpoint (which borders between Manipur and Myanmar) until February. The move is primarily to prevent the `illegal entry of Myanmar nationals.’
``This is the second time since September that this ban has been imposed. The suspension of the `Free Movement Regime (FMR)’ is important due to the current political situation in Myanmar. Tamu is located in western Sagaing Region which has been a stronghold of anti-establishment forces since the Junta came to power in February 2021,’’ said sources.
Earlier Tamu was a major trading centre due to its proximity to Moreh. Under the FMR scheme citizens of both countries were allowed to travel within 25 km across both sides of the border.
The town is a major trading centre due to its proximity to the Indian town of Moreh. Under the FMR, citizens of the two countries are permitted to travel freely within 25km of both sides of the border.
Sources also say that this is one way to control the entry of refugees from Myanmar. Though exact numbers are not known there are a few thousand refugees from Myanmar who have moved into India, some of them have children attending school here and are also receiving aid in terms of food and medicine from non-profitorganisations. They also have refugee identity cards.
Myanmar borders four northeastern Indian states—Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.
Mizoram, which borders Chin State, has provided asylum to a large number of Myanmar refugees, including members of the government ousted by last year’s coup.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary, Vinay Mohan Kwatra, visited Yangoon for two days.
``He held discussions on important bilateral issues relating to border management, security and ongoing bilateral cooperation projects and India’s support to democratic transition in Myanmar,’’ according to the ministry of external affairs.
This is the second visit by India’s foreign secretary since the Junta took control of Myanmar. In December 2021, the then-foreign secretary Harshvardhan Shringla visited Myanmar.