Assam Chief Minister’s Big Announcement On Controversial Law AFSPA
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, in a huge announcement today, said that he was aiming for the complete withdrawal of the controversial law AFSPA from the entire state by the end of this year. “AFSPA may be lifted from the entire state by November,” he said.
“We will also rope in ex-military personnel to train our police force,” Mr Sarma added.
Presently, eight districts of Assam are under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 or AFSPA – which empowers security forces to conduct operations and arrest anyone without any prior warrant besides giving immunity from arrest and prosecution to the security forces if they shoot someone dead.
The Chief Minister, who was addressing a Commandants Conference, said the move will facilitate the replacement of Central Armed Police Forces or CAPF by Assam Police Battalions. “The presence of CAPFs as required by law shall be in place,” he said.
Assam was declared a “disturbed area” under AFSPA in 1990 November and since then it was extended every six months.
Human rights activists have often alleged that the law has been often misused to arrest, raid houses or even shoot people.
Mr Sarma has been pitching for the complete withdrawal of the law citing improved law and order situation in the state in the last two years.
Earlier this month, he said that the border dispute with Arunachal Pradesh has been completely resolved while with Meghalaya, an agreement was reached in six of the 12 disputed areas and talks for the remaining areas will start next month.
Last year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured that AFSPA will be withdrawn from the state soon. Praising the Assam police, he had then said they worked tirelessly to bring peace in the state.