Agartala: A former member of the National Security Advisory Board has said that the Armed Forces Special Power Act should be amended to stop harassment to the people.
Sanjay Hazarika, a former member of the board and Justice Jeevan Reddy committee, which reviewed the AFSPA in 2004-05, said the act, which some of the North Eastern states have opposed, should be adequately amended so that the common people are not harassed during operations by security forces.
"Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee, comprised of a retired Supreme Court judge, a Lieutenant General and Social workers and in its recommendations in 2005 had suggested for suitable amendment of the act formulated by the colonial rulers to suppress the Indians and their voices," Hazarika said in a special lecture at the Tripura University yesterday.
However, he said, the Government did not agree for the amendment of the act due to opposition by the army and wondered why Disturbed Areas Act was continuing in areas where peace has been restored.
Spokesperson of the ruling CPI-M in Tripura Gautam Das said, "Earlier Disturbed Areas Act was imposed in 45 police station areas of the state where AFSPA was applicable, now it was reduced in 25 police station areas as insurgency has largely been contained in the state."
A senior leader of opposition Congress and former leader of opposition Ratan Lal Nath said, "When the state government declared that peace has restored in the state, there is no logic of keeping the act and it should be withdrawn".
The Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), a Congress ally and the biggest non-left tribal party in the state, has also demanded immediate withdrawal of the act.
The act was lifted from Mizoram following the peace accord signed between Mizo National Front (MNF) and the Government of India in 1986.