- Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated on Thursday that the government is working to exempt the entire northeast from the Armed Forces (Special Authority) Act (AFSPA)
- Modi, violent incidences in the northeast have decreased by 75% in the last eight years, which is why Meghalaya and Tripura were removed from the AFSPA's scope.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated on Thursday that the government is working to exempt the entire northeast from the Armed Forces (Special Authority) Act (AFSPA), which grants the military broad powers and immunity from prosecution.
“For a long time, AFSPA applied to many states in the northeast. “However, we eliminated the provisions of the Act from numerous sections of the region in the last eight years due to permanent calm and improved law and order situation,” Modi said during a public meeting in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district.
In December, 14 civilians were killed in a bungled army operation in Nagaland’s Mon district, reigniting calls for the AFSPA to be repealed. In March, the Centre reduced the number of disturbed areas in the region that were covered by the statute.
According to Modi, violent incidences in the northeast have decreased by 75% in the last eight years, which is why Meghalaya and Tripura were removed from the AFSPA’s scope.
“It has been in effect in Assam for more than three decades.” Earlier governments used to prolong its enforcement on a regular basis due to the lack of improvement in the situation. AFSPA has been lifted from 23 Assam districts in recent years due to improving ground conditions,” Modi stated. “We’re working to restore normalcy in other sections of the state so that AFSPA can be repealed there as well.” Efforts to repeal the Act are also underway in Nagaland and Manipur [parts of these states are subject to AFSPA].”
During World War II, the British passed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance in August 1942 to enlist the armed forces “in the help of civil power” in suppressing the Indian independence movement. AFSPA, which was passed in Parliament in September 1958, is based on this colonial-era regulation. Armed troops can govern and preserve public order in “disturbed” areas, according to the law.
The north-eastern states were congratulated by Modi for resolving boundary conflicts. He mentioned the Assam-Meghalaya border accord, saying it may assist resolve conflicts in other states in the region.
In March, the chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya inked an accord to end a five-decade boundary dispute.
Border problems between states in the region, according to Modi, are being settled amicably. “The Assam-Meghalaya deal will serve as a model for subsequent issues to be resolved, and it will aid regional growth.”
Modi also welcomed the Karbi Anglong peace accord inked last September with six rebel groups, as well as the 2020 pact with three Bodo groups. “We used to hear bombs and shooting in these regions, but today we only hear claps.” Our consistent and honest efforts are also bringing enduring peace in all other areas.”
Modi laid the foundation stone for three colleges in Loringthepi as part of the Karbi peace deal. He also announced the Amrit Sarovar Project, which will include 75 water bodies spread across a hectare of land in each of Assam’s districts.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, commended Modi for his efforts to bring peace and development to the state and the region. Loringthepi has also seen the introduction of projects worth over a billion rupees, according to him.
On Thursday, Modi was set to speak at a public meeting in Dibrugarh, Assam, where he will launch seven cancer care centres and lay the groundwork for another seven.