MHA Panel Constituted For Examining AFSPA Repeal From Nagaland Misses Deadline To Submit Report

Posted in Featured, Nagaland, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

A high-level committee instituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to look into repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 from the northeastern state of Nagaland has missed its deadline to submit its detailed report.

The panel was formed in the wake of escalating rage among citizens from different quarters of Northeastern regions, against the botched army operation at the Mon district of Nagaland which led to the deaths of innocent civilians – identified as coal-miners.

As per the press release issued by MHA, in order to review AFSPA 1958 across the northeastern state of Nagaland, a committee of officers is constituted with following members – Dr. Vivek Joshi, Registrar General & CCI will act as the Chairman. The members include – J. Alam, Chief Secretary, Nagaland; Lt. Gen P.C. Nair, Director General (DG) of Assam Rifles; T. John Longkumer, Director General of Police (DGP) of Nagaland; Dr. M.S. Tuli, JD, IB; Piyush Goyal, Ministry of Home Affairs as Member Secretary. However, Lt. Gen. B.S. Raju, DGMO shall act as the Special Invitee to the Committee. The panel members have been directed to make suitable recommendations on the same within a period of 3 months.

According to The Hindu report, the Nagaland Chief Minister – Neiphiu Rio claimed on December 26, 2021 claimed that the panel had 45 days (February 9) to submit the report.

However, on the last date of submitting the report, MHA differed. According to a report published in The Hindu today, the MHA order instituting the committee says the committee will make suitable recommendation within 3 months i.e. by March 26.

The decision to constitute a panel was undertaken during a late-night meeting of the Union Minister of Home Affairs & Cooperation Amit Shah with the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Nagaland counterpart Neiphiu Rio, which was held at North Block, New Delhi.

After the meeting on December 26, the Nagaland Government have issued a press release which was signed by the leader of Naga People’s Front Legislature Party (NPFLP) T. R. Zeliang, Deputy Chief Minister of Nagaland Y. Patton, and Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. This release asserted that the committee will submit its report within 45 days and repeal of “Disturbed Areas” and AFSPA from Nagaland will be based on recommendations of the panel.

The botched army operation in Oting Village and merciless killings of innocent civilians have emerged as a “stumbling block” to the Naga peace talks. Repealing AFSPA from the Naga land stood to be one of the key points been included in the final peace agreement.

Meanwhile, the repeal of AFSPA stood to be a major point in the manifesto of Naga People’s Front (NPF) during the assembly elections of Manipur. NPF is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government in Manipur.

Its worthy to note that the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the schedule of upcoming Assembly polls in 5 states – Manipur, Goa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Incorporating of 60-member state assembly, polls in the northeastern state of Manipur will be conducted in two phases – on February 28 and March 5.

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