Kolkata: The security situation in the northeast has improved to a large extent in recent years and the withdrawal of AFSPA from some areas of the NE states is not hindering Army operations, Lt General Rana Pratap Kalita, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Command, said on Friday.
In the eastern theatre the Army is working on developing villages as model ones to ensure that there is no migration in search of livelihood, he said.
“The internal situation in the entire north-east has improved quite a lot in recent years. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act has been withdrawn from certain districts of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. The removal of AFSPA was not arbitrary; it was withdrawn after a lot of deliberations with stakeholders.
“The removal of the special powers are not hindering Army operations in any way,” he said at a Meet the Press in Press Club, Kolkata.
AFSPA is a Parliamentary act that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces and the state and paramilitary forces in areas classified as ‘disturbed areas’ with the objective to maintain law and order in disturbed areas.
Referring to the Army’s model villages initistive, he said it was announced in last year’s union budget and is an ongoing process aimed to ensure that there is no migration from border villages in search of livelihood.
Measures have been taken to provide basic means of education, healthcare and means of livelihood in those villages, Lt Gen Kalita said.
“Work has started in two-three villages, at Kaho (in eastern Arunachal Pradesh) to be specific. Across the eastern theatre we have identified 130 villages and almost a similar number has been identified in eastern Ladakh and Uttarakhand,” he added.
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