India-Myanmar border extremely porous, says MHA

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has described the 1643-km-long India-Myanmar border, which facilitates cross-border movement of militants, illegal arms and drugs, as 'extremely porous.'

"The border (Indo-Myanmar) permits free movement regime up to 16 km across the border. This makes the International Border extremely porous. The border runs along hilly and inhospitable terrain which grossly lacks basic infrastructure and provides cover to the activities of various Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs). The unfenced India-Myanmar border with free movement regime is thus being exploited by various Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs)," said an MHA report.

Cannabis herbs, ganja and banned pseudoephedrine tablets are regularly seized by Assam Rifles personnel and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials while they are being smuggled to Myanmar.

The entire border length touches Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km).

The MHA report added that Assam Rifles has been deployed for counter-insurgency and border guarding role on this stretch of the border. "Out of the sanctioned strength of 46 battalions, 31 are for counter-insurgency operations and 15 for border guarding role. At present, all 15 border guarding battalions are deployed along the Indo-Myanmar border. The companies are deployed on all routes of ingress/egress and are checking infiltration, smuggling of arms, ammunition, drugs and fake Indian currency notes," it said.

To check increased militant activities on the border, the Centre has taken steps to fence the area, approximately 10 km, and has given administrative approval of Rs 30.96 crore for fencing work. Clearance from the Supreme Court and the ministry of environment and forests has been also been obtained and a compensation of Rs 503.68 lakh paid to the Manipur government for acquiring land.


The Times of India