In a recent announcement by Assam’s Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, there are ongoing efforts towards completely removing the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), a contentious law, in Assam by November 2023. The disclosure was made during the Commandants Conference at the Police Training Centre in Dergaon.
The Chief Minister further indicated the state’s intention to harness the expertise of retired military personnel in bolstering the training of the local police force. “Our target is to have AFSPA fully removed from Assam by the close of 2023, while concurrently integrating ex-military staff into our police training regime,” Sarma stated in a tweet.
The AFSPA endows security forces with heightened powers, which include, but are not limited to, conducting arrests and executing searches without necessitating a warrant, all in the name of maintaining public order.
The federal government had previously chosen to decrease the regions classified as “disturbed areas” under the AFSPA, including territories in Manipur, Nagaland, and Assam. The “disturbed area” classification has been in effect in Assam since 1990.
As Per official reports, due to a considerable enhancement in the state’s security conditions, the designation of a “disturbed area”, enforced via the AFSPA, had been rescinded in most of Assam, except for nine districts and a single sub-district within one district, as of April 1, 2022. The label is currently applicable to a total of eight districts in Assam.