Aizawl, February 14, 2020:
Mizoram’s Chakma community has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seal the entire stretch of 510 km long Indo-Myanmar border in the state.
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Six organizations representing the Chakma community in Mizoram have expressed their concerns over illegal migration and smuggling of arms and drugs.
Speaking with Inside Northeast, Secretary General, All India Chakma Social Forum (AICSF), Paritosh Chakma informed, “The problem is that India and Myanmar have free movement regime, which allows Myanmarese to come to the territory of India through Mizoram border upto 16 km. They move freely without visa. There is no fencing at all unlike Mizoram’s border with Bangladesh.”
The six organisations, namely the Central Young Chakma Association, Chakma Mahila Samiti, Central Mizoram Chakma Students Union, All India Chakma Social Forum, and Chakma National Council of India, and the National People’s Party, Chakma District have submitted a memorandum citing their concerns and urging the government to seal the entire border along Myanmar to stop anti-social elements from entering the state.
“If the Government wants to stop the influx and smuggling of drugs, arms, etc. the first thing they should do is close the border. They should fence the border and also withdraw the free movement regime,” said Paritosh.
The demand of the Chakmas came after Chief Minister Zoramthanga during a recent meeting with PM Narendra Modi asked his help to prevent influx of foreigners and fight the menace of drugs and arms smuggling into Mizoram.
In his meeting with Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi recently, Chief Minister Zoramthanga had raised the issues influx of foreigners, smuggling of drugs, arms, and human trafficking to get the presidential assent to the Mizoram Maintenance of Household Registers Bill, 2019 (MMHRB).
MMHRB seeks to create separate registers for Indians and foreigners based on certain documents to be specified by the state government.
It may be mentioned here that according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Myanmar is the second-largest producer of opium poppy in the world after Afghanistan and biggest producer of methamphetamine, an ecstasy drug.
The open unfenced border and the Free Movement Regime between India and Myanmar allows unabated influx of foreigners, smuggling of drugs, arms and other illegal activities from Myanmar which have left both the Mizoram Government and the NGOs deeply worried.
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