Agartala: Tripura government has decided to extend the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, (AFSPA) in 34 police station areas of the state for another six months from January 1 to contain insurgency, official sources said on Saturday.
The decision to extend the AFSPA, also known as disturbed areas act, was taken in the meeting of the state level coordination committee (SLCC) headed by the Chief Secretary S K Panda recently, the source said.
Though insurgency has largely been contained in the state it`s remnants still existed and the tenure of the AFSPA was extended for another six months so that it can not come back in future, they said.
Earlier the AFSPA was operational in 40 police station areas but now reduced to 32 police station areas as the insurgency has come down. The state has 70 police stations altogether.
The act was first imposed in Tripura in 1997 when the insurgency was at its hight.
However, the opposition Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT), tribal based largest party in the state has criticised the state government`s decision as `ridiculous`.
"When the government claims that insurgency was crushed in the state, then where is the logic to extend the operation of the act. The state government took the decision to increase its duration only to torture the tribals of the state because this act is operational in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) only," INPT General Secretary Jagadish Debbarma said.
The tribal council area constitute two third of the state territory and is the home to the tribals which forms one third of the state population.
The state has 856-km-long border with Bangladesh and according to Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is also the Home Minister of the state, camps of insurgents of the state still existed in the neighbouring country.