Against AFSPA, But National Security Is Paramount : Manipur CM

Posted in Featured, Manipur, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

Recent killings of innocent civilians across the Mon district of Nagaland due to the incessant spraying of bullets by Indian Army has led to extreme rage across Northeastern regions. However, amid the escalating clamour to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958, the extension of this act has given form to massive protests and rage among citizens.

Responding to the same, the Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Sunday asserted that he himself looked forward for its repeal but national security must be taken into context as topmost priority.

“We are a border state and share an international border with Myanmar. I have to see the national interest as well.” – said Singh.

“The people of Manipur, including me, want that AFSPA should be lifted, but after a mutual understanding with the central government as national security is the first priority for us,” Singh told PTI in an interview.

He further added that “it is not possible to do so without assessing the ground situation.”

“No major unwanted incidents have been reported and insurgency has come down by 90 per cent. Therefore, I believe AFSPA can be lifted gradually with the consent of the central government. We must remember there is no political stability in Myanmar and we share the border with that nation,” – he mentioned.

Its worthy to note that the Manipur Government has recently extended the ‘controversial law’ for one more year, excluding the Imphal Municipal Area and referred the entire state as “disturbed area”.

According to a notification signed by the Special Secretary (Home), Government of Manipur, H. Gyan Prakash released on January 8, “Whereas the Governor of Manipur is of the opinion that due to violent activities of various extremist/insurgent groups, the entire State of Manipur is in such a disturbed condition that the use of Armed Forces in aid of civil power is necessary; And, whereas the Governor of Manipur is of the opinion that the areas within the State of Manipur be declared as a ‘Disturbed Area’ under the provisions of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, as amended from time to time.”

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.

The decision came ahead of the forthcoming 2022 Assembly Elections, slated to be held in two phases in the northeastern state of Manipur – February 27 & March 3.

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