AFSPA is required, says Indian General

According to outgoing Lt. General Yadava, Assam Rifles Chief, says that AFSPA ( Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958) is very much required for battling insurgency in North East India. While another top India Police Officer, now Governor of Meghalaya R S Mooshahari disagrees.

Indian Security Forces, armed with AFSPA, is still battling for last 50 years, but insurgency is almost as severe as it was some 50 years back, most probably, AFSPA has not been quite useful in battling insurgency in North East India.

Former IPS Officer and BSF ( Border Security Force) Chief, R S Mooshahari favours the repeal of AFSPA in the region, has said that its prolonged use had alienated the civil society.

“We cannot contain insurgency-related violence by alienating the citizens. We can do so more effectively by involving them,” said Mooshahary, a former National Security Guards chief.

Irom Sharmila Chanu, a rights activist, has been on indefinite strike for nearly a decade in Manipur, demanding the withdrawal of APSPA from the state.

Several rights groups, including the influential North East Students Organisation (NESO), have demanded the withdrawal of AFSPA from the northeastern region.

“Instead of solving the militancy problem in the northeast, the act is complicating the situation. It has resulted in a war between the people and members of the armed forces,” said NESO vice-chairman Lalmuanpula Punte.

The Central government has named a five-member committee headed by Supreme Court Justice BP Jeevan Reddy to study if the Act was required or not.

After visiting all affected states, the committee submitted its report to the Central government in October 2006.

News Source : Assam Tribune

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