New Delhi [India], March 31: Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday termed the Centre’s move to reduce disturbed areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur a “historic decision” and said that this shows that the era of peace has arrived in the northeast region in true sense.
“The reduction of AFSPA area in the Northeast is a historic decision. A lot of steps have been taken by Home Minister and Prime Minister. Arunachal Pradesh had removed AFSPA long back except in three districts. This decision shows that the era of peace has arrived in the Northeast region in the true sense,” Rijiju told ANI.
The Union Minister said when the AFSPA provision is removed, that means the security situation has improved.
“This shows the commitment of the government and success in terms of bringing a peaceful atmosphere in the northeastern region,” he said,
He further said that the imposition of AFSPA is based on the ground security situation, if the ground situation is not conducive to removing this particular provision, then it is difficult for the government, as security officers will have to operate under certain coverage and protection.
“This decision shows the commitment of our government. Peace and Development are two parallel tracks. Peace cannot prevail without development and vice versa. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has focussed on peace and development for the entire Northeast. As a member of this cabinet, I am proud to say it is a huge success for the whole of the northeast region and this country,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that the Central government has decided to reduce disturbed areas under the AFSPA in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades.
Meanwhile, officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs clarified that the Centre’s decision would considerably reduce areas under AFSPA with effect from April 1. However, the officials also made it clear that AFSPA has not been completely removed.
The AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. In 2005, the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee had recommended the repeal of AFSPA and suggested an amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, by inserting a new Chapter with respect to the Northeastern states. (ANI)