After the Centre decided to reduce the disturbed areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Assam including Nagaland and Manipur, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday wholeheartedly welcome the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also expressed deep gratitude to Home Minister Amit Shah for this bold decision.
"In a significant step, GoI under the decisive leadership of PM Shri @NarendraModi Ji has decided to reduce disturbed areas under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades," Shah had announced in a tweet.
After the decision, Sarma said, "I wholeheartedly welcome the decision of PM Modi to withdraw AFSPA from all areas of Assam barring 9 districts and 1 sub-division."
"I also convey our deep gratitude to HM Shah for this bold decision, now around 60% of State’s area will be free from AFSPA’s purview," he added.
Further he said, "AFSPA has been in force since 1990 and this move marks the beginning of a new chapter in Assam’s future."
I wholeheartedly welcome the decision of PM Modi to withdraw AFSPA from all areas of Assam barring 9 districts & 1 sub-division. I also convey our deep gratitude to HM Shah for this bold decision. Now around 60% of State’s area will be free from AFSPA’s purview: Assam CM HB Sarma pic.twitter.com/iCN7SpnHfB— ANI (@ANI) March 31, 2022
"It is a testimony to the significant improvement in law and order in the State. With peace getting primacy, North East is now on a new trajectory of growth annd development," the CM said.
Further he also complimented the people of Assam, who have believed in peace. "Due to PM Narendra Modi’s visionary leadership, the region is all set to become the new engine of India's growth – AshtaLakshmi," he added.
The AFSPA has been in force for decades in the three Northeastern states to assist the armed forces operating there to tackle insurgency.
The AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations and arrest anyone without any prior warrant besides giving immunity from arrest and prosecution to the security forces if they shoot someone dead.
There have been protests and demands for the complete withdrawal of the law from the Northeast as well as Jammu and Kashmir for its alleged "draconian" provisions.