IMPHAL, January 15: Removal of AFSPA from Manipur will no longer be an issue if all the 60 MLAs stand together and raise the demand, stated BJP state unit president.
Addressing a press conference held at the party’s office at Nityaipat Chuthek, the former Union minister said if the legislatures seriously aspire to save anti-AFSPA activist Irom Sharmila by ending her 13-year old fast then they should demand the revocation of the disturbed area status from the entire districts of Manipur.
Remembering the introduction of the Act and expansion of areas under its ambit, Chaoba said it was initially imposed in Mao and Tamenglong areas in 1961, three years after the Act was passed by the Parliament. Later, during the tenure of RK Dorendro as chief minister the Act became applicable in all areas in the state, he added.
The Jeevan Reddy Commission in its report had contended that the AFSPA needs a review or repeal and even the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had pledged to replace it with a more humane law during the handing over of Kangla, he added. But unfortunately the Act is still in place and the Army chief of India had declared that they do not support withdrawal of the Act from arm conflict areas like the north-east region or Jammu and Kashmir.
Chaoba claimed that his party has always stood against AFSPA and will demand its removal from the state. In Nagaland, the disturb areas status is more or less defunct due to the efforts of the state government there, he added. If the legislatures in Manipur show the determination to remove the disturb area tag it will be definitely possible, he stated. He said that it will take a mammoth effort from the legislatures to remove the Act imposed through the Parliament and save Sharmila. However, if there is good governance in the state then AFSPA will be removed automatically, he added.
State BJP leader M Bhorot said the party has always been clear about its stand against AFSPA and the state leaders have hold several rounds of discussion and submitted applications to Central leaders including Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, he stated.