New Delhi : The Home Ministry on Saturday further declared the entire state of Assam and surrounding 20 km wide belt in Meghalaya as the “Disturbed Area” for another six months.
The notification issued under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958, provides the army and security personnel legal immunity from their actions against the citizens. Assam was the first state to have AFSPA in 1958 and it was again brought under the Act since November 1990 when the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) activities were at peak. It is also in force in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990 as also in other North-East states.
Giving reasons for extending it in Assam and surrounding areas of Meghalaya, the notification said the law and order in the state continues to be a matter of concern due to violence by the underground outfits, noting 66 incidents by them in the last nine months, killing 29 persons including one security personnel.
“The militant outfits operating in the area continue to have been making constant efforts to regroup, re-strengthen and intensify their efforts for recruitment/infiltration of new cadres into the state and indulging in coercive extortion, targeting businessmen, tea garden owners, contractors, commercial vehicles, timber smugglers, transporters and even government officials and politicians.”
“United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW) has been formed in April, 2015; and two of its constituents viz. ULFA (I) and NDFB(S) have been desperately making efforts to perpetrate demonstrative acts of violence and during the current year they have been responsible for 57 per cent of the incidents of violence and 84 per cent of the deaths in the state,” the notification, issued by Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Satyendra Garg said.