Path cleared for AFSPA to stay

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IMPHAL, Nov 29: Despite widespread agitations of various rights groups for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 from the state, the state cabinet has today approved the extension of “Disturbed Area Status” for another one year in the state excluding the seven assembly segments under Imphal Municipal Council.

The “Disturbed Area Status” enables the authorities to impose the controversial AFSPA for countering insurgency and other anti-national activities in the state. The current Disturbed Area Status is due to end tomorrow. The renewal will come into effect from December 1.   

The state cabinet meeting held this evening under the chair of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh at his official bungalow has approved the extension of the Disturbed Area Status based on the reports from various central and state security forces. The authorities concerned have already submitted their report in this regard.

In the reports, the security forces highlighted the need for “Disturbed Area Status” in the state stating the problem of insurgency has not been subsided completely.

The cabinet also approved the construction of a new state guest house at the existing High Court complex at North AOC after shifting to the newly constructed High Court Complex at Capitol Complex at Chingmeirong.

The shifting of Imphal Municipal Council located at Kanglapark road to the present Manipur Legislative Assembly hall was also approved by the cabinet today.

Briefing media persons after the cabinet meeting, SPF spokesperson N Biren stated that   the extension of Indira park by expanding it to the existing IMC complex, transfer of existing Raja Dhumbra High School from its present location for the construction of a shopping mall, and acquisition of land by direct purchase or negotiations of the private lands located near the school for construction of another City Heart market centre were approved by the cabinet.

The state cabinet also reviewed the official reports of the constituted District Re-organization and Police Jurisdiction Committee. However, due to lack of technical presentation, the matter was differed to the next cabinet sitting.

The cabinet also discussed the preparatory measures taken up by different departments of the state in connection with the official visit of Prime Minister of India and UPA chairperson to the state capital on December 3.

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