Central govt decides to reduce areas under AFSPA


The central government has decided to reduce the disturbed areas under the ambit of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades, Union home minister Amit Shah announced on Thursday. “The reduction in areas under AFSPA has come as a result of the improved security situation and fast-tracked development due to consistent efforts and several agreements to end insurgency and bring lasting peace in North East by the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Shah said in a tweet.

The home minister thanked PM Modi for his “unwavering commitment” in bringing a new era of peace in the north east. “North-Eastern region, which was neglected for decades, is now witnessing a new era of peace, prosperity and unprecedented development,” Shah said.

People familiar with the development said the decision of removal of AFSPA in decided areas in these three states will come into force from Friday.

The government has maintained that insurgency has come down in the north east in the past seven years under the Bharatiya Janata Party rule at the Centre. According to data available on the home ministry’s website, insurgence related incidents have come down from 1,749 in 1999 to only 209 in 2021 in the entire north-eastern region. Moreover, 2020 recorded the lowest incidents of insurgency in the last two decades. Compared to 2014, there has been a 75% reduction in insurgency in 2021.

Similarly, in the same period, casualties at the hands of security forces have come down by 75%, while civilian deaths have dropped by 89%.

Additionally, a large number of armed militant cadres have surrendered before security forces. From 2019 to 2022, more than 6,900 armed ultras have surrendered along with 4,800 weapons in the north-east.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)