Why Zo Reunification Org is Threatening Independence Over Border Fencing and FMR Revocation?

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File Photo/Ukhrul Times: Refugees from Myanmar given shelter at Kamjong District in Manipur.

FROM the governments of Nagaland and Mizoram to the vast majority of the Naga, Chin-Mizo-Kuki-Zo kindred tribes, the Union Government’s intention to scrap the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and construct fencing along the Indo-Myanmar border has sparked widespread indignation. This proposed policy change, impacting approximately 50% of the 1,643-kilometer-long border, has led to significant resistance from various Civil Society Organizations and powerful student bodies across Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram.

So why have several prominent Chin-Mizo-Kuki-Zo and Naga Civil Society Organizations across Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram voiced their indignation? And why is the Zo Reunification Organization’s (ZoRO) “stern warning” against the border fencing and revocation of FMR by the Indian Government crucial in balancing regional politics, if not the geopolitics involving Bangladesh, Myanmar, and India?

First, let’s understand what the ZoRO said on May 16, 2024, at Zokhawthar, a border town in Mizoram state, during a public rally organized by them. The ZoRO, based in Aizawl, seeks to reunite all Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi tribes of India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar under a single administration, reflecting a long-standing aspiration among the Zo people.

It is significant to note that the rally saw participation from the ruling Zoram People’s Party (ZPM) members Clement Lalmingthanga and Lalmuanpuia Punte from the Hrangturzo constituency. Hundreds of Khawmawi villagers from neighboring Myanmar and surrounding areas joined the protest rally. Similar rallies were held in Mizoram’s Lunglei district and Manipur’s Tengnoupal district, drawing thousands of Zo ethnic people.

The ZoRO, in this particular protest rally issued a “stern warning,” that the proposed border fencing and revocation of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) by the Indian government would be perceived as a declaration of independence by the Zo ethnic people. Addressing the public rally, ZoRO General Secretary L. Ramdinliana Renthlei stated, “Zofate, or ethnic Mizos, are divided into three regions. While we are waiting for our hopes of reunification, the Indian Government is trying to close the border and lift the FMR. Today, the blood of our nation is crying for unity, and if the Government of India does noth

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