Describing the Centre’s decision of lifting the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from “major areas” of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur as a “revolutionary step”, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday said that for the first time, it is felt that the Northeast has joined the mainstream of the country.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Rijiju said that in the remaining few places where the law is still in force, things will be back to normal soon.
“For the first time, it is felt that the Northeast has joined the mainstream. Recently, a decision has been taken to lift the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the major areas of three states of Northeast —Assam, Nagaland and Manipur—, which is a revolutionary step.”
Rijiju said that lifting of the AFSPA means that peace has been restored in those areas.
He said that AFSPA was brought in view of insurgency in Naga areas in 1958. “This has a long history. After so many years, peace has been restored in those areas,” he said.
Rijiju said that few areas are still left where the AFSPA is in force but things will be back to normal in those areas soon. With this, the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make northeast AFSPA-free will be completed, he said, adding that the people of northeast including civil society members have welcomed this move, while expressing gratitude towards the Prime Minister for the move.
Rijiju, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal Pradesh, said that several important agreements including Bodo Accord, NLFT, Bru-Reang Agreement have been reached in the last few years. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-pronged approach of development and dialogue with insurgent groups in dealing with various challenges in the region has paid dividends,” he said.
He attacked the Congress and said that the party had left the region “devastated”.
On March 31, 2022, Home Minister Amit Shah had announced lifting of the AFSPA from the certain areas of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.
Source: india Express