Aim To Lift AFSPA From Assam By 2023-End
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma underlined here on Monday, is likely to be totally repealed from the State by the end of the year as law and order have significantly improved.
Background on AFSPA:
- The Indian Parliament passed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in 1958.
- It gives the Indian Armed Forces special authority to uphold law and order in “disturbed areas.”
- Initially, the Naga Hills, which were then a part of Assam, were covered under AFSPA.
- It eventually spread to the other Seven Sister States in northeastern India.
- Currently, the Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (outside of Imphal Municipal Council Area), Changlang, Longding, and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh, as well as regions under the control of eight police stations in Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam, are subject to the AFSPA.
Concerns and Criticism:
- AFSPA has drawn criticism from a number of groups for allegedly violating human rights in the places where it is used.
- The unique authority conferred by the AFSPA, according to critics, has resulted in instances of abuse and human rights breaches.
- National figures who support the repeal of AFSPA include P. Chidambaram and Saifuddin Soz of the Congress party.
- Politicians like Amarinder Singh, on the other hand, have voiced their opposition to its repeal.
Points to Ponder:
- At the first Commandants’ Conference held at the Lachit Barphukan Police Academy, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma declared that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is likely to be totally repealed from the state by the end of 2023.
- The decision to repeal AFSPA was made as a result of Assam’s law and order situation significantly improving.
- The AFSPA is a statute that gives the military forces exclusive authority over certain territories. These powers include the ability to make arrests, search without warrants, and use force without a judge’s approval.
- Except for eight districts and one subdivision, all of Assam’s districts have previously had the AFSPA repealed.
- The Chief Minister announced the appointment of retired Army officers as additional superintendents of police in order to improve the capabilities of the neighbourhood police force.
- This retired Army individual’s job will be to train Assam’s police force in order to improve their knowledge and abilities.
- Assam police battalions will eventually take the place of the Central police as a result of this action, signalling a movement towards a more regionalized and independent security structure.
- It is anticipated that having military soldiers teach police officers will reduce the gap between the two organisations and make the transfer easier.
- The Chief Minister wants to improve the state’s capacity for law enforcement by gradually replacing the Central police with Assam police battalions.
- The AFSPA’s lifting and the police force’s improved training demonstrate the government’s dedication to enhancing Assam’s general security situation and fostering a sense of safety and stability for its citizens.