Itanagar: Congress MLA and former union minister Ninong Ering on Monday said the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 is being misused in the northeast, and efforts should be made to repeal it from the region at the earliest.

“The AFSPA is being misused due to which our people are facing a lot of trouble. I have always raised this matter, may it be in the parliament or legislative assembly. Even our chief minister (Pema Khandu) has spoken against it and sought relaxation for Arunachal Pradesh,” Ering said in a video posted on Twitter.

AFSPA is an Act of the Parliament of India that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”.

Besides Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (excluding Imphal Municipal Council Area), the Act is in force in the Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh and areas falling within the jurisdiction of eight police stations of districts in the state bordering Assam. 

Ering, who represents the Pasighat West Assembly Constituency, also requested the MPs of state and region to raise the matter in the ongoing parliament session.

“I urge our MPs to raise this issue in the parliament and call for AFSPA to be removed from the northeast, especially Arunachal Pradesh which is also called the island of peace,” he said

Ering also condemned the killing of 14 civilians by security forces at Oting village in Nagaland’s Mon district on Saturday.

The Arunachal Pradesh unit of the National People’s Party (NPP) has also called for AFSPA to be repealed from the northeastern region.

“The recent incident of ambush by security forces that led to the massacre of 14 innocent unarmed civilians in Mon the district of Nagaland, paints an atrocious and heartbreaking picture. This is a stark reminder of how the armed forces have with impunity misused AFSPA as a repressive tool to enforce in a reign of systemic widespread terror on the citizens of northeast disrupting every peace process,” NPP state president Mutchu Mithi said in a statement on Monday.

The NPP condemns this tragic incident and demands that the perpetrators must be brought to justice immediately, Mithi said while extending his solidarity with the people of Nagaland.

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