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The Indian government has asked the Assam Rifles to be alert and prevent any Myanmar national from crossing the international border amid the political turmoil in the neighbouring country.

A report by journalist Subir Bhaumik for the news agency IANS said that the Union home ministry has asked the paramilitary force to prevent any influx.

The Assam Rifles guards the India-Myanmar border in the Northeast, while the BSF guards the border with Bangladesh.

The report quoted unnamed top sources in the paramilitary force having said that the “instructions from the top” was clear and unambiguous – no national from the neighbouring country should be allowed to enter India without valid visa or travel permit.

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.

Earlier, reports said that at least eight policemen and several civilians crossed over to the Indian side and sought shelter in Mizoram. The policemen said that they crossed to the Indian side fearing consequences as they refused to follow orders of the Myanmar army.

The IANS report stated that the Mizoram home department confirmed at least 16 Myanmar nationals, including some policemen, have crossed over into the state.

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