Guwahati: In a significant move, the ministry of home affairs has decided not to extend the term of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in the entire Assam beyond August 31.
Pointing out that it will be left to the state government to take a call on extending the AFSPA, security sources told this newspaper that home ministry is of view that prevailing situation doesn’t warrant that the entire state should be declared as disturbed area under the provision of the act.
Informing that home ministry has taken this decision after a review of the law and order situation of the state on August 3 in New Delhi, security sources said representative of the Assam government were also present in the meeting.
Clarifying that last extension of the AFSPA was given up to August 31 that too on the request of the Assam government which feared violence by militants in the run up to Independence Day, security sources said that now ball is in the court of the state government.
"If they feel the necessity of the act, they can promulgate AFSPA on its own" security sources said adding that home ministry was not in favour of extending its use further in Assam.
Security sources however admitted that some areas bordering Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya have some problem and security agencies have recorded the movement of armed rebels.
"The state government can declare such vulnerable areas as disturbed and promulgate AFSPA in those particular areas instead of declaring the entire state as disturbed," security sources said.
Security sources said that home ministry is firm on its decision. While referring that at one hand the state government claims that law and order situation of the state has improved but on the other hand, they send request to the ministry to extend the term of AFSPA.
Security sources said that home ministry has clarified that they are not in favour of extending AFSPA in entire Assam further.
"This was informed to the state government in a meeting on August 3 also" security sources said.
The AFSPA was promulgated in Assam in November 1990 and the entire state was declared as a "disturbed area" as the activities of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) were at their peak....