Assam instals NE freedom fighters' statues; move earns appreciation
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday welcomed the Centre’s decision to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, completely from 23 districts and partially from one district of the state.

The AFSPA has been in force in the state since 1990 and this move marks the beginning of a new chapter in Assam’s future, he said.

“I wholeheartedly welcome Adarniya PM Shri @narendramodi ji’s decision to withdraw AFSPA from all areas of Assam barring nine districts and one subdivision, the chief minister said in a series of tweets.

He also conveyed his gratitude to Union Home Minister Amit Shah “for this great move. Around 60 per cent of the state’s area will now be free from AFSPA’s purview”.

“It is a testimony to the significant improvement in law and order in the state. With peace getting primacy, North East is now on a new trajectory of growth and development”.

The disturbed area notification which is in force in entire Assam since 1990 is being removed with effect from April 1 completely from 23 districts and partially from one district

The AFSPA has been extended every six months since 1990 after a review by the state government.

It was last extended for six months on February 28 this year. The chief minister also complimented the people of the state who believe in peace.

“Due to Adarniya PM Shri @narendramodi ji’s visionary leadership, the region is all set to become the new engine of India’s growth Ashtalakshmi,” Sarma said.

The AFSPA 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.

In the North East, the AFSPA was in force in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (excluding Imphal Municipal Council Area), Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh, and areas falling within the jurisdiction of eight police stations of districts in Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam.

There have been protests and demands by civil society groups and rights activists for the complete withdrawal of the law for its alleged ‘draconian’ provisions.

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