CM mulls lifting DAA if L/O improves

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Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh. Photo: M Zhazo

Imphal, July 28 2017: The State Government would discuss whether Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 could be repealed from the State by reviewing the prevalent law and order situation.

This was stated by Chief Minister N Biren in response to a query raised by Congress MLA Kh Joykisan during the discussion of a Private Member Resolution in the ongoing 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly session today.

Joykisan urged the House to adopt a unanimous resolution to exert pressure on the Central Government to repeal AFSPA from the State.

Acknowledging the spirit of the motion put up in the House, CM Biren stated that it is the desire of the people including him to repeal the draconian Act from the State.

But at the same time, insurgency problem, border and security complexity and threats concerning the State should be addressed and resolved first, he said.

He maintained that it is the prerogative of the State to remove or extend ‘Disturbed Area Status’ which paves the way for imposing AFSPA.

He recalled that the repeal of AFSPA from seven Assembly segments in 2004 was made possible after the State Cabinet decided to remove Disturbed Area Status from the seven ACs .

A State Cabinet meeting convened on December 1 of last year had decided to extend Disturbed Area Status in whole of the State except for the seven ACs in Imphal Municipal Council, he said .

However, the State Cabinet may lift Disturbed Area Status and this would pave the way for repealing AFSPA from the State.

He elaborated that the House is entitled to pass a common resolution in case the Central Government forcibly imposes the Act.

Stating that the State Government would review the law and order situation every six months to ascertain what can be done to repeal AFSPA from the State, Biren through the Speaker of the House appealed to Opposition MLA Joykisan to withdraw the Private Member Resolution.

The CM assured the House that the State Government will take up steps to control errant security personnel.

Raising the Private Member Resolution, Congress MLA Joykisan alleged that State and Central security forces have been committing rape, torture, killing of civilians and other atrocities under the impunity of AFSPA in the name of tackling counter insurgency.

He pointed out that the clauses included in the Act pose a serious threat to fundamental rights and human rights guaranteed by Constitution of India .

AFSPA is so draconian that even a non-commissioned officer has the impunity to kill a person and arrest a person without warrant, he stated .

Citing the killing of Manorama by AR personnel, massacre and involuntary disappearances by security personnel in the State under the cover of AFSPA, the MLA urged the House to adopt a unanimous resolution to pressurise the Central Government to repeal the Act from the State.

After CM Biren made due clarifications, MLA Joykisan retracted the Private Member Resolution.

Source: The Sangai Express

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