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“By the year-end, we want to see Assam free from AFSPA”: CM Himanta Biswa Sarma

Starting April 1, 2023, the notification was lifted from one more district in the state, which meant that AFSPA was restricted to only eight districts of Assam.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday reiterated his aim of making Assam free from the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and said that the state government is working towards it.

Addressing a press conference in Guwahati, the Assam CM said, “We are working towards that. Our idea is that by the year-end we want to see that Assam is completely free from AFSPA.” 

“However, whether I will be 100 per cent successful or only 90 per cent successful will depend on whether the police force strengthens itself. I addressed that in the Commandant conference. Basically, I am requesting the police to create a situation in Assam so that we don’t have to have AFSPA. But if the police are not 100 per cent successful then AFSPA will continue in five districts. If the police are successful, then we will withdraw it. That was a deliberation between the Home Minister and Police force,” he said.

Earlier on Monday too, the Assam CM had said that the state is aiming to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, (AFSPA) completely from the state by the end of this year.

“We will also rope in ex-military personnel to train our police force,” CM Sarma tweeted.

As part of the sequel undertaken to bring about police modernization in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday attended the first-ever conference of the commandants at the Police Training Centre in Dergaon.

“AFSPA will be lifted from the entire state by November. This will facilitate the replacement of CAPFs by Assam Police Battalions. However, the presence of CAPFs as required by law shall be in place,” one of the highlights from his speech made at the conference stated.

The Assam Chief Minister on Sunday chaired Police Battalions Commandants Conference held at Lachit Barphukan Police Training Academy, Dergaon.

“We are aiming at withdrawing AFSPA completely from Assam by the end of 2023. We will also rope in ex-military personnel to train our police force,” CM Sarma said.

While the Disturbed Areas notification under AFSPA was removed by the Centre from the entire state of Assam last year, it was still in force in about nine districts and one sub-division of another district.

However, starting April 1, 2023, the notification was lifted from one more district in the state, which meant that AFSPA was restricted to only eight districts of Assam.

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 is an act of the Parliament of India that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. According to the Disturbed Areas Act, 1976 once declared ‘disturbed’, the area has to maintain the status quo for a minimum of three months.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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