AFSPA to be withdrawn completely from Assam? CM Himanta Biswa Sarma gives big hint

  • Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the state will rope in ex-military officers to train the police forces

Devesh Kumar
Updated22 May 2023
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he is aiming the withdraw AFSPA from the state
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he is aiming the withdraw AFSPA from the state(ANI)

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that the state government aims to withdraw Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) completely from the state and ex-military officers will be roped in the train of the police forces of the state.

Interestingly, on 30 March Assam government decided to extend the scope of AFSPA in eight districts for six more months. The extension came as both state and Central Governments on several occasions promised to reduce the areas under AFSPA. Last year, Assam removed AFSPA from 8 districts in April and 1 district in October.

AFSPA was imposed on the entire state of Assam in 1990 for the first time and has been extended seven times till then. Recently, the government has shown interest in reducing the areas under the act with Central Government also deliberating with some insurgent groups' leaders.

AFSPA which first came into effect in 1958, gives unfettered powers to the members of armed forces and para-military deployed in “disturbed areas” to arrest and search suspected premises without any warrant and even kill anyone acting in contravention of the law. Such officials or personnel of the armed forces or para-military are protected from prosecution and legal action without the approval of the Central Government.

Currently, AFSPA is operational in 5 states- Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, Tripura and Meghalaya were also on the list but the act was revoked from Tripura in 2015 and from Meghalaya in 2018.

Civil society groups have raised many concerns around AFSPA and claimed that human rights are violated in disturbed areas due to the act.

Recently, the Central Government denied the sanction to prosecute 30 army men, including a Major who allegedly killed 13 civilians in Nagaland in a botched counter-insurgency operation. The incident occurred in 2021 and a special investigation team (SIT) headed by the Nagaland inspector general of police probed the incident.

 

 

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