New Delhi, Mar 31 (UNI): In a significant announcement for the northeastern states, the government has decided to reduce area under Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur, Home Minister Amit Shah announced on Thursday.
“In a significant step, the Government of India under the decisive leadership of PM Narendra Modi Ji has decided to reduce disturbed areas under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades.,” Shah tweeted.
AFSPA has been lifted from 23 Assam districts completely and from one district partially, 15 police stations in six districts of Manipur, and 15 police stations in seven districts of Nagaland. “Reduction in areas under AFSPA is a result of the improved security situation and fast-tracked development due to the consistent efforts and several agreements to end insurgency and bring lasting peace in the North East by PM Narendra Modi government,” Shah said.
“Thanks to PM Narendra Modi Ji’s unwavering commitment, our Northeastern region, which was neglected for decades is now witnessing a new era of peace, prosperity and unprecedented development. I congratulate the people of North East on this momentous occasion,” he added.
Demands for withdrawal of AFSPA came from northeastern states after an incident in Nagaland’s Mon district, where 14 civilians and a soldier were killed as a security operation went wrong. An official statement said under the Modi government, several steps have been taken in the northeastern states, which have led to a significant improvement in the security situation and accelerated development.
In comparison to 2014, there has been a reduction of 74% in militancy incidents in 2021. Similarly, deaths of security personnel and civilians have also come down by 60% and 84%, respectively, during this period.
The statement also said as a result of talks held by the government, most of the extremist groups have laid down their arms and about 7,000 militants have surrendered in the last few years. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to make the whole of the North East region free from extremism. In this regard the Central Government has been interacting with State Governments and other stakeholders from time to time. Due to the improvement in the security situation under the Government led by Shri Narendra Modi,” the statement said.
The disturbed Area Notification is in force in the whole of Assam since 1990, while in Manipur, where the Disturbed Area Declaration has been in force in the entire state except Imphal Municipality area since 2004. In 2015, AFSPA was in force in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh, 20 km belt of Arunachal Pradesh along the Assam border and in 16 police station areas in 9 other districts of the State.