By- Staff Reporter | Date- December 20, 2011
The much controversial and claimed as draconian law, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA has been extended in whole of Assam for one more year. This was done by the Government of India in spite of reservations from the central intelligence agency.
As per reports, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) considered the advice of the State Government and the Defence Ministry who suggested that the term of the Act should be extended. Although the violence level in the state is reported to have come down by close to 50% in 2011 year with major militant outfits coming to negotiation tables and signing ceasefire pacts with the Government, the Government considered it wise to enact the law across the state without relying on the state police, who would otherwise be the main force to deal with militancy rather than the Indian Army.
It is to be mentioned that the AFSPA was first imposed in Assam in 1990 and the tenure of the Act has been extended by a year every year.
It is understood that the Government is still concerned about possible threats by the hardliner faction of ULFA and the Maoists who are fast gaining a stronghold in the state.
However it is being considered strange that none of the Maoist affected states have yet been declared disturbed or the AFSPA implemented although the level of violence through Maoist militancy is much higher in those states.
Under The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA prevalent in North East States of India, the Indian Armed forces are given unrestricted and unaccounted power to carry out their operations, once an area is declared disturbed. Even a non-commissioned officer is granted the right to shoot to kill or arrest anyone without a warrant based on mere suspicion. This inhuman law which dignifies the basic human rights has been long protested by the people of the region; however, as the people of the region has complained often enough, the long cries and protests have largely been ignored.