New Delhi: In a major move, the Government of India on Monday (December 27) announced the setting up of a special committee to review the enforcement of the Armed Forces Special Power in Nagaland (AFSPA).
In an office order, the North-East division of the Union Home Ministry said Dr Vivek Joshi, Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India, will head the special panel.
The Nagaland assembly on December 20 passed a unanimous official resolution seeking immediate repeal of the controversial law.
Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home, Piyush Goyal will be the member secretary of the panel, and it will have Lt Gen P C Nair, DG Assam Rifles among clothes as the members. Other members of the committee are J Alam, Chief Secretary, Nagaland, T. John Longkumer, DGP, Nagaland, Dr M S Tuli, Joint Director Intelligence Bureau and Lt Gen B S Raju, DG Military Operations, will be the special invitee.
"The terms of reference of the committee shall be to review the application of AFSPA in Nagaland and make suitable recommendations within a period of three months."
On Sunday, December 26, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, deputy CM Y. Patton (BJP) and former Nagaland Chief Minister T. R. Zeliang (NPF) had stated that the committee would submit its report within 45 days. They also claimed the withdrawal of the Disturbed Area and AFSPA will be based on the recommendations of the committee.
The Chief Minister and his colleagues also said that the Additional Secretary Home in charge of North East would head the panel. Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home, Piyush Goyal, will be only the member secretary of the panel. The committee will have Lt Gen P C Nair, DG Assam Rifles and also a senior representative from the Intelligence Bureau, among others, as the members.
Though the AFSPA repeal demand is a populist stance, armed forces and former Defence Ministers, A K Antony and Mulayam Singh Yadav backed the forces in the past.