Centre withdraws notification giving more powers to Assam Rifles

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) The Union Home Ministry on Friday withdrew a notification giving sweeping powers to Assam Rifles to conduct searches without a warrant and take people into custody in the non-Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) areas.

According to informed sources, fears of a backlash forced the Centre to scrap the notification.

The Home Ministry put the notification in abeyance and would bring now only after a thorough review and consultations with the state governments concerned, they said.

The issue of re-conferring powers under CrPC to Assam Rifles — given in 1941 and taken back in 2006 — had been pending for long and it was needed for effective enforcement of Free Movement Regime along the India-Myanmar border, the sources explained.

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The contours of the Free Movement Regime was elaborated in the land border crossing agreement between India and Myanmar in 2018 that called for suitable powers for border guards.

Some technical faults in the notification and adverse intelligence reports about a possible backlash forced the Centre to reverse its decision.

Northeast is already witnessing protests over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on fears that it would threaten demographic profile of the region.

–IANS

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