AFSPA to be amended: PM

Written by: Super Admin
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Agartala, Nov 10: Armed Force Special Power Act (AFSP) which has found heavy criticism in Northeastern states will be amended according to an assurance given by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the leaders of Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT).

"Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram unambiguously assured us that the Centre is now working to modify certain provisions of the AFSPA," said Rabindra Debbarma, former Tripura minister and INPT general secretary referring to their meeting in New Delhi in Oct, 2009.

According to Home Ministry information the amendment procedures have been finalised and is awaiting approval from the union cabinet.

Once approved the ammended AFSA will be applicable in Jammu & Kashmir or other Northeastern states.

INPT along with the  regional party and an ally of Congress informed that over 1,500 tribal youths have been either detained or arrested under AFSPA over the years.

AFSPA which gives the unlimited powers to the paramilitary forces to shoot on sight and arrest anybody without a warrant has created havoc in the Northeastern states particulary in Manipur.

The draconian law came to the forefront when the Manipuri ladies came out on the street naked and with a banner in hand in which it was written 'Indian army rape us', after the rape and murder of Thanjam manorama Devi on July 15, 2004.

Irom Sharmila Devi, human activists has been on an unending hunger strike for the last 10 years in protest against AFSPA.

AFPSA is  in force in Manipur, Assam and Nagaland.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister P Chidambaram, Tribal Welfare Minister Kantilal Bhuria, Minister of State for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanaswamy, National Security Advisor MK Narayanan and Home Secretary GK Pillai.

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