Forces need power if AFSPA repealed or diluted: Assam Rifles

Last Updated: Saturday, April 30, 2011 - 00:33

Shillong: If there is a repeal or
dilution in the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers)
Act (AFSPA), security forces will need some kind of powers as
they don`t have any administrative backup, Assam Rifles DG Lt
Gen Rameshwar Roy on Friday said.

"The armed forces in counter-insurgency operations do
not have policing powers. We will definitely need some kind of
powers since there is no administrative back-up," Roy told
reporters when asked about the implication on the security
forces in case there was a possible repeal or dilution of the

"No arbitrary power is given to anybody by this act,"
he claimed, amid a renewed stir across the northeast by
student organisations expressing solidarity with activist Irom
Sharmila demanding repeal of the act.

Roy said the power to declare any area as `disturbed`
was with the state government.

"It is only on the recommendation of the state
government that the Centre declares an area as disturbed and
the armed forces move in. Now, under certain extraordinary
circumstances, there is nobody to issue search or arrest
warrants. So the armed forces have to search and arrest
without any warrant," Roy said.

"Arrested persons or recovery of war-like stores are
handed over to the police within 72 hours and the legal
proceedings or follow-up is as per the law of the land. The
follow-up action is not in our hand, it`s with the civil
police," he said.

The DG, however, maintained that if a soldier wronged
somebody, there were provisions to give special sanctions to
prosecute the security personnel.

He said the Indian Army has the distinction of not
using heavy artillery or the Air Force to deal with internal
disturbances in the last six decades.

"Except for the air bombing to open the land route to
Aizawl in 1966, only small arms have been used against
insurgents so far, not even automatic weapons," he said.

Asked if the alleged rampant arrests in Manipur were
unwarranted, he replied in the negative and claimed that
insurgents were `finding courage` to operate from those places
in Imphal where the AFSPA is not applicable.


First Published: Saturday, April 30, 2011 - 00:33
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