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Shah hails ‘historic day’ for northeast as govt withdraws AFSPA from more areas of Nagaland, Assam & Manipur

Decision, which will come into effect from 1 April, was made keeping in mind improved security in these areas, says home ministry. 

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New Delhi: The central government once again decided to decrease the areas that come under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) through a notification Friday. Calling it a “historic day” for the northeast, Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted Saturday that the number of disturbed areas in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur that come under AFSPA would be reduced.

In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the decision, which will come into effect from 1 April, was made keeping in mind that the security in these zones has improved.

“Compared to the year 2014, there is a reduction of 76 per cent in the extremist incidents in the year 2022. Similarly, the deaths of security personnel and civilians have come down by 90 per cent and 97 per cent respectively during this period,” the MHA said.

“With the consistent efforts of the central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, there has been an unprecedented improvement in the security situation in northeast India,” the statement said. It referred to how the number of disturbed areas under AFSPA in the same three states — Nagaland, Assam and Manipur — had also been reduced in April last year in a “historic move”.

According to the statement, from 2014 till this year, around 7,000 insurgents have surrendered. This comes in the backdrop of several agreements with insurgent groups: In 2019, one such was signed between the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT(SD)) and the government. The Bodo Accord was signed in January 2020 and the Karbi-Anglong Agreement in 2021.

The disturbed areas notification under AFSPA was withdrawn from Tripura and Meghalaya in 2015 and 2018 respectively.

The notification had been in place across the whole of Assam since 1990. Last year in April, this was reduced to only nine districts and one sub-division of another district. With the new development, now eight districts will fall under AFSPA.

In Manipur except for the Imphal Municipality area, the notification had been in place since 2004. In April last year, it was removed from 15 police station areas of six districts. The new move, from 1 April, will see it withdrawn from four more police stations.

In Nagaland the disturbed areas notification had been in place since 1995. Last year, it was withdrawn from 15 police stations of seven districts. Now, it’s being withdrawn from three more stations.

(Edited by Rohan Manoj)

Also Read: Northeast a success story not just for BJP but all of India. It’s all about getting to end of bell curve

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