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Army act lifted in Meghalaya

Army act lifted in Meghalaya

The act grants unbridled powers to armed forces deployed in the areas declared as "disturbed" and has led to grave human rights violations, such as extrajudicial killings, disappearances and torture in northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.

"It is a welcome step".

The Arms Forces Special Powers Act against which, noted activist Irom Sharmila carried out the world's longest hunger strike, now has been lifted from entire Meghalaya and parts of Arunachal Pradesh.

"With the cooperation of the people, the government of India will withdraw AFSPA from other parts of North Eastern region also, but that should be done after proper assessment of law and order situation", Sarma said.

The law was withdrawn from Tripura in 2015.

The Centre had removed AFSPA from a few areas of the Northeast a year ago.




This is published unedited from the ANI feed. Earlier, a 20km belt inside Meghalaya along its border with Assam, was under AFSPA.

Similarly, AFSPA is now applicable only in 8 police stations in Arunachal, down from 16 police stations in 2017. AFSPA has been totally withdrawn from the Meghalay as well as from eight districts of Arunanchal Pradesh with effect from 31 March 2018.

State Congress president Takam Sanjoy said the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, which empowers security forces to conduct operations and arrest individuals without prior notice, is "not relevant" in a peaceful state like Arunachal Pradesh.

The three districts have been under AFSPA since January 2016.

"A review was held in consultation with the state government in September past year and the 20 km stretch under AFSPA was reduced to 10 km", the Indian Express quoted an unnamed official of the ministry of home affairs as saying.

The committee submitted its report in 2005 that besides repealing the Act recommended that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 should be modified to clearly specify the powers of the armed forces and central forces. Meanwhile, the government has also relaxed the norms regarding visit of foreign tourists to Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, for a period of five years. And the Union Home Ministry having recently informed the concerned states that it was up to them, either to continue to deem their states as Disturbed or not, the ball seems to have been thrown into the respective state's court.


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