- NET Web Desk
The Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday during his Manipur visit, strongly condemned the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) across Northeastern regions.
Addressing the gathering, the Meghalaya CM stated that AFSPA has failed to resolve the issue of insurgency operational across Northeast India.
He further promised that National People’s Party (NPP) would continue to fight to ensure that the draconian law gets repealed.
Sangma, who is the national president of the National People’s Party (NPP), visited Manipur at the day-long Youth Conclave.
Held at Patsoi in Manipur’s Imphal West district, the conclave was organized by the National People’s Youth Front (NPYF) under the theme ‘Our future in our hands’.
“We’ve got to realize that by using force, we cannot achieve our goal. We need to look into security aspects also. But, AFSPA is not the solution to the problem,” – he said.
“It is only through socio-economic measures, that we’ll be able to find the ultimate solution. By using the Armed Forces, we’re once again damaging our youth,” – he further added.
Meanwhile, on the issue of unemployment, Sangma emphasized on the significance of vocational training. “NPP feels that every young man must be given skill sets apart from education and the youth’s energy should be tapped.” – he stated.
On climate change, he urged the volunteers of NPYF to play a crucial role for combating the impact of climate change across the North eastern region.
Earlier, responding to the Nagaland civilian killings incident, the Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma through his Twitter handle officially demanded the repeal of AFSPA.
“AFSPA should be repealed” – tweeted the CM.
AFSPA should be repealed
— Conrad Sangma (@SangmaConrad) December 6, 2021
On November 4, at least 13 civilians identified as coal-miners were gunned down by security forces in Mon district of Nagaland. Referring the killings as “unfortunate”, the Indian Army confirmed the incident.
Its worthy to note that AFSPA was passed by the Parliament of India to provide special legal security to the armed forces for initiating operations in the troubled areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura. However, in 1990 the act was extended to the state of Jammu & Kashmir to deal with rising insurgency along the region.
However, on June this year, the Centre had declared Nagaland as “Disturbed Area” and further extended the operation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for 6 more months. The AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland for several decades.
Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976, asserts that once declared “disturbed”, the area has to maintain the status quo for a minimum of three months. Under this act, in a “disturbed” area, an officer has full power to warn, or open fire and other kinds of forces against the person who is acting against law.