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AFSPA withdrawn from 4 more districts in Assam, now applicable only in 4 districts, announces Assam DGP GP Singh

AFSPA has been withdrawn from Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts with effect from October 1, while it has been extended for 6 months in Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, and Charaideo districts in Assam

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) has been withdrawn from four districts of Assam, and it remains applicable only in four districts effectively from Sunday (1 October) for a period of six months. Conveying the development, the Director General of Police, Assam, GP Singh announced that AFPSA will now remain applicable in only four districts of the state beginning today. The AFSPA has been withdrawn from Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts with effect from October 1.

Assam DGP Singh made this formal announcement while addressing a special function marking Assam Police Day in Guwahati’s 4th APBN Kahilipara. During his address, Singh stated that Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, and Charaideo districts will continue to be notified as “disturbed areas” from 1 October onwards. 

These four districts fall in the Upper Assam region and they have been considered as strongholds of militant group ULFA in the past.

Apart from these four districts, AFSPA has been completely removed from other districts of the state. Up to this point, besides the four districts mentioned above, Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, and Dima Hasao also came under the jurisdiction of “disturbed areas”.

In March this year, the AFSPA was extended in all these 8 districts for 6 months by the Assam govt.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Tapan Kumar Deka was also present at the ceremony as the special guest. He praised the Assam Police for their undeterred efforts to bring peace and harmony to their state. 

He asserted that the state has witnessed an era of peace as many militant groups have surrendered their arms and joined the mainstream. Furthermore, the state police have demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in combating the illegal drug trade and the smuggling of illicit liquor. This has played a pivotal role in advancing the state’s progress.

The ‘disturbed areas’ notification under AFSPA has been applicable to the entire state of Assam since 1990. However, last year, the Centre withdrew the “disturbed areas” notification under AFSPA from the entire state except nine districts and one sub-division of another district. This year in March, AFSPA was further withdrawn from one more district in the state.

Now, the latest development to further reduce ASFPA from four districts comes in line with the announcement of state Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who had earlier announced that AFSPA could be completely removed from the state by the year’s end in the wake of continuous progress on the Law and Order front. 

During his Independence Day address, he said, “In Assam, the AFSPA has been scrapped from many districts already. The law and order situation of the state has improved largely and soon the Act will be completely lifted from the entire Assam.”

Last month the Assam Cabinet recommended the centre to withdraw the Disturbed Areas Act and AFSPA from the entire Assam. This came after Himanta Biswa Sarma met Amit Shah in Delhi and discussed the roadmap for the complete withdrawal of AFSPA from the state.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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