Despite BJP led Assam government claiming that law and order has improved drastically, the state government on Wednesday extended Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) for another six months, reports Economic Times.
Withdrawal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is widely favoured in Assam following lifting of AFSPA from Meghalaya while its coverage area has been reduced in Arunachal Pradesh. AFSPA was clamped in Assam in 1990.
The official notification of the state government stated, ‘As per powers conferred under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, the Governor of Assam has declared the entire State of Assam as ‘Distubed Area’ upto six months beyond August 28, 2018, unless withdrawn earlier. This was stated in an official notification issued by the Government of Assam.’
Union home minister, Rajnath Singh while attending the meeting on North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shillong last month had stated that the security situation in North eastern states has drastically improved.
He said, ‘During four years of NDA government the security situation has drastically improved. When compared to the 1990s, the insurgency related incidents have declined 85 per cent. There is 96 per cent reduction in civilian and security forces casualties’.
Singh said, ‘Today, Tripura and Mizoram are completely free from insurgency and there is tremendous improvement in other North Eastern States as well. Due to this marked improvement in security situation AFSPA has been completely lifted from Meghalaya and its coverage area has been reduced in Arunachal Pradesh’.
A senior official in Assam police said, ‘security agencies operating in the state seek continuation of the Act till the National Register of Citizen (NRC) is updated. We may consider district wise withdrawal of AFSPA in (sic) later stage.’
He added that though insurgency related incidents have drastically come down, a faction of National Democratic Front of Boroland led by B Bidai and anti-talk ULFA militants, led by Commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah are still active.’