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Assam government withdraws AFSPA from West Karbi Anglong; to continue in these 8 districts

Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been facing criticism as several human rights activists demand the law to be scrapped.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Guwahati Published on: October 20, 2022 18:16 IST
AFSPA will continue in 8 districts of Assam
Image Source : PTI/FILE AFSPA will continue in 8 districts of Assam

Assam government on Thursday gave Diwali gift to the people of West Karbi Anglong by withdrawing the declaration of 'Disturbed Area' w.e.f. October 1, 2022 from the district. Now the number of districts covered by the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) reduced to 8.

"Earlier AFSPA covered 9 districts and 1 Sub-division in Assam, now it covers 8 districts and one Sub-division," news Agency ANI quoted Niraj Verma, Principal Secretary of Home and Political department as saying.

Also, the state government said it has extended the AFSPA in eight districts and one sub-division for six months after a review of the law and order situation.

The order dated October 15 and released on Thursday stated that nine districts and one sub-division were kept under the AFSPA since April 1 as "disturbed area" after withdrawing the legislation from the rest of the state.

"A review of the law and order and security scenario in Assam in the recent past indicates that the situation has considerably improved in West Karbi Anglong district of the state.

The Governor of Assam is pleased to withdraw the declaration of 'Disturbed Area' with effect from 01.10.2022 from West Karbi Anglong," the order said.

These 8 districts are still covered by the controversial law

Districts that continue to be disturbed areas are Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao besides Lakhipur sub-division of Cachar in the Barak Valley.

Why does AFSPA face criticism?
The act was imposed in Assam in November 1990 and has been extended every six months since then after a review of the situation by the state government. AFSPA allows 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 in case of an operation going wrong. Civil society groups and rights activists have been demanding withdrawal of the "draconian law" from the entire North East claiming violation of human rights by the armed forces.

The cry to repeal the act gained momentum after the death of 14 civilians in firing by security forces in a botched anti-insurgency operation and retaliatory violence in Mon district of Nagaland on December 4, 2021.
(With PTI/ANI input)

Also Read: Assam's Kamakhya Temple not being 'properly maintained': Supreme Court 


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