Guwahati: The Union Home Ministry has directed the paramilitary Assam Rifles to prevent any Myanmar national from crossing into Indian Territory and push back any found attempting to crossover.
The Assam Rifles guards the India-Myanmar border in the northeast, while the BSF guards the border with Bangladesh.
Reportedly, the ministry instructed that no Myanmar national should be allowed to enter India without valid visa or travel permit.
The order follows the considerable embarrassment now faced by New Delhi after Myanmar officially asked for the immediate return of eight policemen who had crossed over and sought shelter in Mizoram.
The India–Myanmar border has a Free Movement Regime (FMR) which allows tribes living along the border to travel 16 km across either side without visa restrictions and on a simple permit issued by local authorities.
There are over 250 villages with over 300,000 people living within 10 km of the border who frequently cross through 150 small and large formal and informal crossings.
During the 1988 uprising and the massacre of thousands that rocked Myanmar, India opened its borders to those fleeing the crackdown.
Thousands of Myammarese, including MPs, entered Manipur and Mizoram and many of them reached Delhi and secured UNHCR refugee cards.
The then Rajiv Gandhi government decided to back and even fund the Burmese provisional government in exile.