In the Longwa village of the Mon district in Assam, the Chief’s Hut is a strange place; the Chief’s (called “Angh”) kitchen falls in Myanmar while his bedroom is in India.
Longwa village occupies both sides of the border, with about 30% living on the Myanmar side. Soldiers from the Assam Rifles keep a close watch on things here from a nearby hilltop to ensure the border remains safe.
The Angh is also the king of the Konyak Naga. He and his 60 wives have been granted permission to move freely in Myanmar without a visa.
The ‘Free Movement Regime’ along the 1,640 km long international border allows Indians to go up to 20 kms into Myanmar and the Myanmarese to come to within 40 km of India. Most of the villagers prefer to barter their goods rather than use money because the Burmese currency rate is extremely low.
Villagers from both sides attend the same schools, religious services and health care facilities despite the side they’re born in.
The Angh has a tight control over his people and all the resources. If any bigger dispute arises, officials of the Myanmar military junta and the Assam Rifles hold flag meetings at border posts. Two of their main concerns are the smuggling of drugs and arms.