5 ways how the Indo-Myanmar border fencing will affect the Naga people

5 ways how the Indo-Myanmar border fencing will affect the Naga people

KOHIMA, Sept 20, 2015: The Indo-Myanmar border is a border barrier that India is constructing to seal its 1,624 km border with Myanmar in hopes to curtail cross-border crime, including goods, arms and counterfeit Indian currency smuggling, drug trafficking,and insurgency. But erecting this fence will have a negative outcome as it will divide many ethnic communities whose lands straddle the regions between the two countries.


Though the primary objective of the fence is to control illegal cross-border activities between the two countries, the boundary line cuts across houses and villages which divides the Naga communities and displacing the families.


The cross border movements of insurgents, gun runners and drug peddlers along the international border with Myanmar will not be prevented by a 10 km fence as the issues and vulnerability of the Indo-Myanmar border stems from a number of factors.


The imaginary boundary line was never accepted by the Naga communities living between the borders as the land they are residing now has been inherited from their forefathers. Erecting a border fence would only prove to stir more problems and protests from the ethnic communities due to its historical linkages and factors.


Besides forced to live as citizens in different countries, 43 villages, about 3000 households and around 20,000 villagers of the Naga, Mizo, Manipuri and Arunachali tribes living between the borders will be affected by the border fencing work undertaken by the Centre.


With no proper inspection of the borderline, the Nagas residing between the borders will face challenges and inconveniences, making the issue more sensitive than it is now.

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