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Hopeful that AFSPA will be removed from all areas in the coming years: Home Minister Amit Shah in poll-bound Nagaland

Home Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative to bring lasting peace to the northeastern state will yield results.

Noting that the BJP government has lifted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from major areas of Nagaland, Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed hope on Tuesday that the Act will be withdrawn from the whole northeastern state within the next three to four years.

Addressing an election rally in Tuensang, Amit Shah stated that Naga peace talks are underway and expressed hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to bring lasting peace to the northeastern state will yield results.

Shah stated that there are some issues concerning development and rights in eastern Nagaland which he said will be addressed following the assembly elections.

“Before the elections, ENPO issued a demand for a boycott, citing their concerns for the people of Eastern Nagaland. “We’ve had conversations with ENPO, and the agreement is nearing completion,” the Minister stated.

Asserting that insurgency is on the decline in the Northeast, he stated that violent incidents in the region had decreased by 70% under the BJP government. The Union home minister also stated that security force casualties had dropped by 60%, while civilian deaths had dropped by 83% in the region.

“I want to remind all of you about Nagaland before 2014. People were traumatized by the firing and bloodshed, but the Modi government took forward the Naga peace talks by signing peace agreements and today Nagaland has moved ahead on the path of development with peace,” he said.

‘Since Rahul Gandhi became the leader of the Congress the stature of the party’s leaders has been deteriorating day by day’: Amit Shah

Further, the HM took a dig at the Congress party for using derogatory references to PM Narendra Modi’s name.

In an obvious reference to Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera’s remarks last week, in which he referred to the Prime Minister as Narendra ‘Gautam Das’ Modi, Shah said, “the kind of language the Congress spokesperson has used for the PM and the sort of reaction it has drawn from people from across the country… You will see Rahul Gandhi that the Congress will not be visible even through telescopes after the Lok Sabha polls in 2024. People will respond through the ballot box.”

“Congress Party has been marginalized in North East. Congress is not getting any success across the country. Since the time Rahul Gandhi became the leader of the Congress the stature of the party’s leaders has been deteriorating day by day,” the HM added.

Talking about development initiatives Amit Shah said that 53 significant infrastructure projects have been finished since 2015, and another 142 projects are in the process.

Urging people to vote for a BJP-led government in the state, HM Amit Shah added, “Support us in this election and I assure you that we will increase the free insurance cap under Ayushman Bharat from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 Lakh…We have completed 53 developmental projects in the last 8 years and another 142 projects are in pipeline for Nagaland alone…We have increased the budgetary allocations for tribes from Rs 21,000 crore in 2014 to Rs 86,000 crore in 2023. By using space technology we have finalized more than 100 developmental projects spread across 13 areas including Nagaland.”

Nagaland will vote for the 60-member assembly on February 27, with results expected on March 2.

Govt to reduce AFSPA areas in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur: HM Amit Shah

It may be recalled that last year, the Modi government decided to reduce the disturbed areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

Home Minister Amit Shah revealed that the reduction of areas under AFSPA was an outcome of the improved security situation and fast-tracked development in these states. He also said this is the latest step to PM Modi’s consistent efforts and several agreements to end insurgency and bring lasting peace in the North East.

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA is a law that empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. It also gives a certain level of immunity to the security forces if an operation goes wrong.

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