N-E civil society body asks for repeal of AFSPA



Itanagar: The North-East Dialogue Forum (NEDF), a conglomeration of various civil society organisations, has requested the Centre to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from states in the region.

"This Act was imposed in the region to counter insurgencies, but the Act itself has become counter productive now," NEDF convenor for Manipur, U Nobokishor, said here.

"The AFSPA is a draconian Act, a sign of hatred. Earlier, only a few insurgent groups had been operating, but now because of the Act, so many insurgent groups have come out," Nobokishor told a press conference here yesterday.

The Justice Jeeven Reddy Commission, set up by the Centre in 2004, and later the Second Administrative Reforms Commission chaired by Congress leader Veerappa Moily, have recommended repeal of AFSPA, he said.

"So many Maoist groups are functioning in states like Jharkhand and Odisha. Why was the Act not applied there and only in Jammu & Kashmir and the North Eastern states?" Nobokishor asked.

A lot of cases had been filed against Army personnel for their "atrocities," but nothing happed to them as the AFSPA gave them immunity, he claimed.

Calling upon the people of Arunachal Pradesh to support their fight against AFSPA, NEDF (Assam) convenor Ranjan K Barua said, "We need to develop a strong force, make people aware of the grave situation that we are in, which will take us to our goal."

PTI