Rina Mitra Committee on Myanmar Border

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Recently, the Union Home Ministry has constituted a committee headed by Rina Mitra to “examine the present rules and regulations adopted by the border States for implementation of free movement regime.”

India shares unfenced border with Myanmar. India’s 1,643-km border with Myanmar touches four states — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.

It is unique in many ways as it has a visa-free movement regime for people living within 16 kms on either side of the border. They can stay up to 72 hours with effective and valid permits issued by the designated authority on either side.

Free movement regime is being misused by militants and trans-border criminals who smuggle weapons, contraband goods and fake Indian currency notes.

Taking advantage of the free-movement regime, occasionally they enter India, commit crimes and escape to their relatively safer hideouts.

Earlier also in 2015, a high-level committee report submitted by Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) chief R.N. Ravi suggested changing the “misnomer” related to “free border movement” and asked the government to replicate the model prevalent in villages and areas along the Bangladesh border.

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