Northeast

Disturbed Area tag under AFSPA withdrawn from 15 police stations in six districts of Manipur

Manipur CM Biren said the state would invite Irom Sharmila to honour her for her selfless struggle for the repeal of AFSPA.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 1 Apr 2022, 5:55 pm

(PHOTO: IFP)
(PHOTO: IFP)

 

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Thursday announced that the “Disturbed Area” under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) will be lifted from the jurisdiction of nine police stations in six districts from April 1.

The chief minister’s announcement comes a few hours after the Union Home Minister Amit Shah made a similar announcement that the Centre has decided to remove the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from certain districts in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur.

ALSO READ: Disturbed areas under AFSPA in three Northeastern states to be reduced

The promulgation of “Disturbed Area” status allows the enforcement of the draconian law AFSPA, which gives impunity to the armed forces.

The nine police stations (PS) are Sekmai, Lamsang and Patsoi PS in Imphal West, Lamlai PS and Irilbung PS in Imphal East, Bishnupur PS in Bishnupur district, Kakching PS in Kakching district, Thoubal PS in Thoubal district and Jiribam PS in Jiribam district. With this, the total police stations from where AFSPA is withdrawn rounded up to 15.

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Earlier in 2004, the central government had already lifted AFSPA from some areas of Imphal East and Imphal West under the jurisdiction of six police stations, including Imphal police station, Lamphel, City police station, Singjamei, Porompat and Heingang police stations.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh said the “historic decision” is a result of the robust development and improvement of the law and order in the state.

“It is just the beginning. The state government will continue to mount pressure on the Centre until AFSPA is removed from the whole state,” he said adding, “The Centre might be lifting up the AFSPA in a phase-wise manner.”

The chief minister also informed that the state government will initiate negotiation with the insurgent groups and also worked to complete the ongoing negotiation talk with the UG groups under SoO to end insurgency from Manipur very soon and for better improvement of the law and order in the remaining parts of the state.

When asked why AFSPA was not removed from any of the hill districts where law and order are stable, Biren replied, “The reason why AFSPA was not removed from Hills areas could be because most of the hill districts are in a sensitive border area. Nevertheless, the state will continue to press the Centre until AFSPA is completely removed from the whole area of Manipur”.

The chief minister thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home minister Amit Shah, Union Defence minister Rajnath and other central leaders for their landmark decision to repeal AFSPA from some areas of Manipur.  

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He further extended gratitude to Iron Lady Irom Chanu Sarmila, who took up a hunger strike for 16 years demanding the repeal of AFSPA and also the CSOs, meira paibis (womenfolk) and the people of Manipur.

The chief minister said the state would invite Irom Sharmila to honour her for her selfless struggle for the repeal of AFSPA.

Meanwhile, the executive director of Human Rights Alert, Manipur Babloo Loitongbam speaking to the Imphal Free Press welcomed the decision of the centre to remove AFSPA from some areas of Manipur stating it is a step in the right direction.

He said that announcement came as a bit of a surprise as the BJP in the run-up to the recent election, is the only party that does not mention the issue of AFSPA in its manifesto.

“However, this is not the end. AFSPA is fundamentally a draconian act. We would like to see the total repeal of the act so that the people of the Northeast enjoy the same rights as other citizens of the country. Many more steps need to be taken to deliver justice to the people of Northeast,” he added. 

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First published:31 Mar 2022, 5:20 pm

Tags:

N Biren SinghArmed Forces Special Powers ActAFSPADisturbed AreaAFSPA Manipur

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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