New Delhi , March 31 : In a significant step, the government has decided to reduce disturbed areas under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades. The Act provides special powers to the armed forces to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”, though it has been widely criticised for its alleged misuse several times.
The current decision of the Centre comes two months after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said that some positive development regarding Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is expected during the year.
Due to the continuous efforts of the Centre , many steps have been taken in the North Eastern States, which have led to a significant improvement in the security situation and accelerated development.
In comparison to 2014, there has been a reduction of 74 percent in militancy incidents in 2021. Similarly, deaths of security personnel and civilians have also come down by 60 percent and 84 percent respectively during this period.
The consistent efforts of the Government and improvement in the security situation in the Northeast has resulted in a significant step by the Government of India to reduce the disturbed areas under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has held dialogue with all the States of the North East on a regular basis. As a result, most of the extremist groups have laid down their arms expressing their faith in the Constitution of India and the policies of the Modi government.
Today all these persons have become a part of the democratic process and are participating in the development of the North East. About 7,000 militants have surrendered in the last few years.
The Centre in the last three years, has signed several agreements to end insurgencies and bring lasting peace to the North Eastern States. For example, the Bodo Accord of January, 2020 which resolved the five decades long Bodo problem of Assam and the Karbi-Anglong Agreement of September 4, 2021 which resolved the long standing dispute over the Karbi region of Assam. Similarly, the NLFT (SD) agreement was signed in August 2019 to bring militants into the mainstream of society in Tripura. After that a historic agreement was signed on January 16, 2020 to resolve the 23 year-old Bru-Reang refugee crisis, under which 37,000 internally displaced persons are being resettled in Tripura. On March 29, 2022, another important agreement was signed regarding the boundaries of Assam and Meghalaya.
The Disturbed Area Notification under AFSPA was completely removed from Tripura in 2015 and Meghalaya in 2018.
Disturbed Area Notification is in force in whole of Assam since 1990. Due to the significant improvement in the situation after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, now AFSPA is being removed with effect from Friday completely from 23 districts and partially from 1 district of Assam.
The Disturbed Area Declaration is in force in entire Manipur (except Imphal Municipality area) since 2004. Now , 15 police station areas of 6 districts of Manipur will be excluded from the Disturbed Area Notification with effect from Friday .
In 2015, AFSPA was in force in 3 districts of Arunachal Pradesh, 20 kms. belt of Arunachal Pradesh along the Assam border and in 16 police station areas in 9 other districts of the State. This has been gradually reduced and the Disturbed Areas Notification, is currently applicable in only 3 districts and in 2 police station areas in 1 other district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Disturbed Area Notification is in force in the whole of Nagaland from 1995. The Central Government has accepted the recommendation of a committee constituted in this context for withdrawal of AFSPA in a phased manner. The Disturbed Area Notification is being withdrawn from 15 police stations in 7 districts in Nagaland with effect from Friday .
In a significant step, GoI under the decisive leadership of PM Shri @NarendraModi Ji has decided to reduce disturbed areas under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 31, 2022
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