GUWAHATI: Assam Police announced on Sunday the extension of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for another six months in four districts of the state. However, the “disturbed area” designation, which permits the enforcement of AFSPA, has been lifted from four other districts.
Revealing the changes at the Assam Police Day 2023 celebrations, DGP GP Singh said that as of now, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, and Charaideo, will remain under AFSPA enforcement in the state, while Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, and Dima Hasao will no longer come under its purview with effect from today.
These changes come after the Assam government had previously extended the “disturbed area” notification under AFSPA for another six months, starting from April 1, covering all eight districts.
“Assam has reached a peaceful stage after passing through a volatile phase during the last 30-40 years. Due to the hard work of Assam Police, Army and para military forces, we have this peaceful atmosphere. I thank all of them,” the DGP was quoted as saying. He particularly acknowledged the contributions of lower-ranked personnel, such as constables, who played a pivotal role in achieving this peaceful atmosphere.
“I would like to say that we cannot forget the contributions of the home guards and VDP (village defence party). We have around 25,000 VDPs and 10,000 home guards,” Singh added.
Earlier, on September 9, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had announced the cabinet’s approval of the recommendation to withdraw the “disturbed area” tag under AFSPA from the remaining eight districts. The development was following a meeting which Chief Minister Sarma had with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on September 5.
During his Independence Day address in Guwahati in August, the Chief Minister had said that his government will do away with AFSPA from the entire state by the end of the year.
AFSPA was first imposed in Assam in November 1990 and has been extended every six months following reviews by the state government.