Guwahati (Assam), March 31 (ANI): Both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Opposition in Assam have welcomed the Central Government's decision of reducing the overall impact of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in most areas of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.
Welcoming the decision, Deputy Speaker of Assam Legislative Assembly, Dr Numal Momin termed it the "biggest success to bring peace to Northeast".
"Welcome step by Centre, their continuous effort to bring peace in Northeast has finally succeeded. In Assam CM Sarma has done a lot to reduce tension and most of the militant organizations have laid down their arms. I think it's the biggest success to bring peace to Northeast," Dr Momin told ANI.
On the other hand, welcoming the Centre's decision All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MLA Mazibur Rahman said that a peaceful environment has now been placed in Assam and other parts of the North-Eastern region.
"I and our party welcome the decision taken by the Centre. But, we demand that the AFSPA should be completely withdrawn from the North-Eastern region," Rahman said.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that the Central government has decided to reduce disturbed areas under the AFSPA in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades.
Meanwhile, officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs clarified that the Centre's decision will considerably reduce areas under AFSPA with effect from April 1. However, the officials also made it clear that AFSPA has not been completely removed.
Disturbed area notification is in force in the whole of Assam since 1990. With the step, the officials said, 23 districts of Assam are now being removed completely and one district partially from the effect of AFSPA with effect from April 1.
The AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. In 2005, the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee had recommended the repeal of AFSPA and suggested an amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 by inserting a new Chapter with respect to the North-Eastern states. (ANI)