Centre To Withdraw AFSPA From Several Areas In Northeast

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday announced that the Central government has decided to reduce disturbed areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades.

“In a significant step, Government of India under the decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to reduce disturbed areas under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades,” Shah made the announcement through a series of tweets.

Reduction in areas under AFSPA was a result of the improved security situation and fast-tracked development due to the consistent efforts and several agreements to end insurgency and bring lasting peace in North East by PM Narendra Modi government, said the Home Minister.

“Thanks to PM Narendra Modi Ji’s unwavering commitment, our North-Eastern region, which was neglected for decades, is now witnessing a new era of peace, prosperity and unprecedented development.”

The Home Minister further congratulated the people of North East on this momentous occasion.

Meanwhile, officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs clarified that the Centre’s decision will considerably reduce areas under AFSPA with effect from April 1. However, the officials also made it clear that AFSPA has not been completely removed.

Disturbed area notification is in force in the whole of Assam since 1990. With the step, the officials said, 23 districts of Assam are now being removed completely and one district partially from the effect of AFSPA with effect from April 1.

The Disturbed Area Declaration in the entire Manipur (except the Imphal Municipality area) is in operation since 2004. Taking important steps under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, the officials said 15 police station areas of six districts are being excluded from disturbed area notification with effect from April 1.

The disturbed area notification is in force in the whole of Nagaland from the year 1995. The Central government has accepted the recommendation of the committee constituted in this regard to remove AFSPA in a phased manner. Disturbed area notification is being removed from 15 police stations in seven districts in Nagaland with effect from April 1, added the officials.

In a note, the Home Ministry said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to make the entire North-East region extremist-free, and in this regard, the Central government has been interacting with the state governments and other stakeholders from time to time.

The disturbed area notification under AFSPA has been completely removed by the Modi government from Tripura in 2015 and Meghalaya in 2018 due to improvements in the security situation.

The AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. In 2005, the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee had recommended the repeal of AFSPA and suggested an amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 by inserting a new Chapter with respect to the North-Eastern states. (ANI)

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