Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju today said in a press conference that the decision to reduce the area of application of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958 in the northeast is a revolutionary step.
The Minister added that the repeal of the act from many areas means that peace has returned to those areas. "Some areas are still left. In the coming days the situation there also will improve and the vision of Prime Minister Modi to rid the entire northeast of AFSPA will be fulfilled", the Minister added.
Kiren Rijiju also said that all the civil society and political leaders of the northeast have welcomed the move by the government. He commented on the role of Home Minister Amit Shah in interacting with the leaders of the northeast to fulfil the vision of the Prime Minister.
Law Minister also said that the boundary disputes between north-eastern states have largely been resolved due to the intervention of the Home Minister. He added that peace has returned to the northeast and tourists can visit the northeast without any fear. The Minister also said that as a part of the 'act east' policy of the government, Seventy-Six Thousand Crore rupees has been allocated in this year's budget for the northeast. He said that there is an increase of 7500 Crores and it is a historic hike in support for the northeast.
He added that it is now a challenge for the people of the northeast to make the best use of the support being extended by the central government. He said that step-motherly treatment of the northeast has ended and that it is now part of the mainstream of the country.
AFSPA was removed with effect from April 1, completely from 23 districts and partially from 1 district of Assam, 15 police station areas of 6 districts of Manipur and from 15 police stations in 7 districts in Nagaland.
Earlier, the Disturbed Area Notification under AFSPA was completely removed from Tripura in 2015 and Meghalaya in 2018. Disturbed Area Notification is in force in the whole of Assam since 1990 and in the entire Manipur (except Imphal Municipality area) since 2004.
The Bodo Accord of January, 2020 which resolved the five decades long Bodo problem of Assam and the Karbi-Anglong Agreement of September 4, 2021 which resolved the long standing dispute over the Karbi region of Assam. Similarly, the NLFT (SD) agreement was signed in August 2019 to bring militants into the mainstream of society in Tripura. After that a historic agreement was signed on January 16, 2020 to resolve the 23 year-old Bru-Reang refugee crisis, under which 37,000 internally displaced persons are being resettled in Tripura. On March 29, 2022, another important agreement was signed regarding the boundaries of Assam and Meghalaya.