According to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 would be continued in Assam for the time being, and the state will review it if the law-and-order situation remains tranquil. His comments come on the same day that the Nagaland Assembly voted a unanimous motion calling for the controversial law in the northeast, particularly in Nagaland, to be repealed.
“The state administration cannot call for the repeal of AFSPA. It is dependent on the state’s general law and order status “he stated
“Let’s say I decide to leave (AFSPA). Will the militant groups return the favour? As a result, the Army will be unable to conduct any operations, resulting in anarchy. The repeal of AFSPA should be tied to the state’s peace and stability “The Chief Minister pondered his options.
“In collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Arunachal Pradesh has removed AFSPA from numerous sections of the state. We believe that if the peaceful scenario continues, we will be able to decide whether AFSPA is needed throughout Assam or only in some areas at a later date “Added he.
“If the law-and-order situation is steady, no state government wants to continue with AFSPA.”
On Monday, the Nagaland Assembly passed a five-point resolution to “support current efforts to find a peaceful political solution to the Naga political crisis.” This comes just over two weeks after a botched Army operation in the state’s Mon area resulted in the deaths of 14 civilians. At the special session of the Assembly, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio led the Assembly in approving the motion and urging an early conclusion to the Naga Peace Talks.
In neighbouring Meghalaya, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, whose National People’s Party is a member of the National Democratic Alliance, has called for its repeal, claiming that AFSPA is counterproductive and has generated “greater turmoil.”
The call for repeal has gained new traction among the opposition in Assam and I Manipur, where the Congress has pledged to advocate for “the immediate and total repeal of AFSPA” across the state if elected in the 2022 elections.
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