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Northeast News: ZORO of Mizoram Oppose Fencing along India-Myanmar Border, FMR Scrapping

Amid the Mizoram and Nagaland governments' strong opposition against border fencing along the India-Myanmar Border and scraping the Free Movement Regime (FMR) between the two countries, the influential Zo Reunification Organisation (ZORO) on Friday announced to launch agitation to protest the Central government's decision on the two issues.

After holding a meeting with Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma, ZORO leaders announced that they would bring out peaceful rallies at Zokhawthar and Vaphai in Champhai district along the India-Myanmar border (in Mizoram) on May 16 to protest the Central government's decision to fence the border and scrap the FMR.

The ZORO, a leading and influential Mizo organisation, for the past many years seeks reunification of all people belonging to Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi tribes of India, Bangladesh and Myanmar under one administrative unit.

ZORO leaders said that Chief Minister Lalduhoma while talking to them, expressed optimism that the Centre would exempt the 510-km-long border of the India-Myanmar border with Mizoram from being fenced and would not scrap the FMR.

The British government while demarcating the borders earlier divided the Zo tribal communities in different countries, they said.

The FMR allowed citizens residing close to both sides of the border to move 16 km into each other's territory without a passport or a visa.

Mizo leaders said that the people belonging to Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi tribes, who have common ethnicity, culture, language and tradition, residing on both sides of the border and if the fencing is erected or FMR is scrapped, the closeness and relationship between the communities would be impacted.

The Mizoram Chief Minister told the ZORO leaders that he had already discussed the fencing and FMR issues with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and requested them to maintain the 'status quo'.

Besides the Mizoram government and ZORO, various civil society organisations and student bodies have been strongly opposing the Centre's move to fence the India-Myanmar border and scrap the FMR.

The Mizoram Assembly on February 28 adopted a unanimous resolution opposing the Centre's decision to fence the India-Myanmar border and eliminate the FMR.

The Nagaland government and almost all organisations in the state are also against the border fencing and abolishing of the FMR.

The Nagaland Assembly also on March 1 unanimously passed a resolution urging the Centre to reconsider its decision to fence the India-Myanmar border and scrap the FMR between the two countries.

Citing the vulnerability of the 1,643 km unfenced India-Myanmar border spanning Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram, the Central government has decided to fence the entire border and to scrap the FMR.

Of the four northeastern states, the process to erect fencing has been started along the border in Manipur.

So far, a 10-km-long stretch in Manipur's Moreh has already been fenced, and the work for another approximately 20 km along the state has also been sanctioned by the Union Home Ministry.

*Except for the heading, this story has not been edited by The enewstime.in and has been published from IANS feed.

(Northeast, Northeast News)

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