AFSPA can be removed from Assam soon, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa was addressing the Commandant’s Conference on Monday. He said the move would facilitate the deployment of Assam Police battalions in place of the Central Armed Police Forces or CAPFs.
AFSPA, the controversial law in force in Assam since 1990, gives security forces the power to crack down and arrest anyone without a warrant. In addition, the law gives security forces immunity from arrest and trial if someone is shot dead. Assam was declared a disturbed area under AFSPA in November, 1990. Since then it has been extended every six months.
Chief Minister Sarma was addressing the Commandant’s Conference on Monday. During this, he made a big announcement regarding the controversial law AFSPA implemented in the state. He said on Monday that his target is to completely withdraw AFSPA from the entire state by the end of this year. Sarma said, ‘AFSPA can be removed from the entire state by November. We will also involve ex-servicemen to train our police force. At present, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 or AFSPA is in force in 8 districts of Assam. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the move would facilitate the deployment of Assam Police battalions in place of the Central Armed Police Forces or CAPFs.
Allegations of misuse of AFSPA
Chief Minister Sarma is claiming that the law and order situation in Assam has improved in the last 2 years. Citing this, he has advocated the complete withdrawal of this law. Human rights activists have been alleging that this law is often used to arrest people. They claim that AFSPA has been misused to raid houses or even shoot. Earlier this month, he had said that the border dispute with Arunachal Pradesh has been completely resolved. He said an agreement has been reached with Meghalaya on 6 of the 12 disputed areas and talks on the remaining areas will begin next month.
In the past, many militants surrendered
In October last year, CM Sarma handed over demand drafts (DDs) to 318 ex-militants. They laid down their arms in the presence of the state Director General of Police and other officers of the Assam Police, Army and paramilitary forces. Surrenders of United Liberation Front of Assam (I), United Gorkha People’s Organization (UGPO), Tiwa Liberation Army (TLA), Kuki Liberation Front (KLF), Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) and Kuki National Liberation Army (KNLA) The militants were given a lump sum amount of Rs 1.5 lakh each. CM Sarma had said, ‘In the last year and a half of our government, all militant organizations except ULFA(I) have returned to the mainstream in Assam. I again appeal to ULFA(I) chief Paresh Baruah to take the society forward peacefully and not through bloodshed.