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Mizo Zirlai Pawl
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Repeal warrant, AFSPA from Northeast: MZP to Centre

Mizoram’s apex student body, Mizo Zirlai Pawl, to approach National Human Rights Commission if timely action is not taken

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: Even as the Union home ministry has put on hold its notification that gave power to Assam Rifles to arrest and search a place without a warrant in five Northeastern states, Mizoram’s apex student body, Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), on Saturday expressed strong opposition to the bid to give Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act like power to Assam Rifles in the Northeastern states, including Mizoram.

An emergent meeting of the student body on Saturday took strong exception to the home ministry’s notification and demanded the Centre to repeal the warrant given to Assam Rifles, MZP president L. Ramdinliana Renthlei told EastMojo.

He said that the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), an umbrella of student bodies of the region, in which MZP is also member has strongly opposed AFSPA and demanded the Centre to repeal the law since long time back.

“We are hurt as the Centre has not only ignored our demands but even tried to accord Assam Rifles’ powers akin to AFSPA in five northeastern states,” he said.

Renthlei said that though the home ministry has kept its notification in abeyance under the pretext of taking consent from the concern states, there is no any decision to revoke it.

He said that the MZP would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the matter and burn the notification.

The student leader also said that AFSPA was in effect in Mizoram during the insurgency period from 1966 to 1986 and many innocents suffered the brutally of jawans because of the act.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by MZP alleged that many innocents were tortured, many houses and farms torched and many women were raped by Indian Army during insurgency due to enforcement of the AFSPA.

It further alleged that many people suffered fear psychosis, mental problems and were rendered homeless due to the brutality of Indian Army.

Terming the AFSPA as “draconian law,” the MZP also urged the Centre to completely repeal the same from Northeastern states.

The AFSPA was enforced in Mizoram during insurgency period.

Though the act was not extended after Mizoram attained statehood in 1987 following the history Mizo peace accord, it was not officially repeal from the state, sources said.

The Union ministry of home affairs on Tuesday issued a notification granting a sweeping power to paramilitary force Assam Rifles to arrest anyone and search a place without a warrant in border districts in five NE states- Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.

The notification, was however, kept in abeyance three days later.

The notification will be revisited in consultation with the state government concerned, The Indian Express quoted unidentified MHA official as saying.

Citing the warrant as an attempt to torture tribal people, the People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) has also demanded the Centre to repeal the same.

The party said that it will approach the National Rights Commission on the matter if timely action is not taken.