AFSPA is irrelevant: Meghalaya Governor

Last Updated: Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 17:37

Shillong: Meghalaya Governor Ranjit Shekhar
Mooshahary on Saturday reiterated that the continuation of the Armed
Forces (Special Powers) Act in Manipur has become irrelevant
in the present context even as he unequivocally called for
involvement of the civil society in tackling insurgency.
"This Act has alienated the civil society more and more
with the passage of time and has been in use for long and has
lost its relevance in view of the emerging role of the civil
society in violence prone areas," he said addressing the
closing function of the 12th North-East Region Commonwealth
Parliamentary Association (NERCPA) Conference here.

"We cannot contain insurgency related violence by
alienating the citizens. We can do so more effectively by
involving them. The police, which represents the civil
society, needs to be strengthened and reliance on the armed
forces reduced for greater cooperation with the citizens in
fighting insurgency," the former chief of the elite National
Guards (NSG) and the BSF maintained.
Observing that Meghalaya and Mizoram which had their
share of insurgency and terrorism are now peaceful while
Tripura is also free from insurgency related violence and so
is Nagaland, Mooshahary said Assam, the "mother state" of the
North East is "fast becoming normal" but for the violence
prone Bodo Territorial Council Area. Arunachal Pradesh and
Sikkim never had insurgency and violence, he noted.

"Only Manipur continues to be a difficult state with
violence remaining unabated," the Governor pointed out.

"I do not, however, subscribe to the view that we need to
continue fighting insurgency and terrorism with the help of
the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act," he stated.

Meanwhile, welcoming the governor?s rejection of the
AFSPA, former Manipur chief minister Radhabinod Koijam termed
it as a "draconian law".

Asking as to why the Act was applied only in Manipur and
J&K and not in the Naxalite-affected states of the country,
Koijam, who is now leader of opposition in the Manipur
Assembly said, "this Act has divided India. This attitude of
the Government of India of not treating us at par with other
states which are also afflicted with violence has alienated
the people."

PTI



First Published: Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 17:37

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