Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that with the improved law and order situation, the day is not far when AFSPA will be revoked in Assam.
The Home Minister had on March 31 announced to reduce the disturbed areas under the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in three northeastern states – Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. The AFSPA is in force in Assam since 1990 and as per the Centre’s announcement, it was removed completely from 23 districts and it would remain enforced in 9 districts and one sub-division in Assam with effect from April 1.
After presenting the President’s Colour to the Assam Police at a ceremony here, the Home Minister said that due to the constant efforts of the Centre and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, almost all the extremist outfits have entered into peace agreements and surrendered before the government. He said that the surrendered militants are being jointly rehabilitated by the central and state governments.
Highlighting the glorious history and achievements of Assam police, Shah said that besides militancy, the Assam police during the past several decades has successfully tackled infiltration, border issues, drug peddling, smuggling of arms, cattle and other contraband, poaching of rhinos, human trafficking and several other social issues.
He said, “During the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971 and communal riots, the Assam police performed brilliantly and courageously.” Shah said that when India got Independence, there were 8,000 Assam policemen and now their strength has increased to 70,000. During the past seven decades, 886 Assam policemen were martyred. “Assam police also very tactfully dealt with the inter-state problems,” Shah added.
Addressing the gathering, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma urged the police to work for the weaker sections of the society and appreciated their efforts in the decline of militant activities in the state. “Hundreds of cadres of the eight militant groups have joined the mainstream and another 13 outfits are in dialogue with the government,” Sarma said.